Meta Description: Human pathogens that are water-transmitted may follow various routes, ranging from water ingestion to transmission via insect vectors. Since water-transmitted pathogens are highly influenced by climate and environmental conditions, any climate change may alter the infectious disease burden from exposure to these pathogens.
Climate factors determine the number, type, virulence and infectivity of pathogens transmitted through water or vectors that breed in water, and thus may have an impact on resulting infectious diseases. In this perspective, the most important climate factors are temperature, relative humidity, UV radiation, precipitation patterns and water availability.
Some indigenous species of bacteria, amoebas and algae are able to grow in aquatic environments with higher temperatures, whereas enteric bacteria, viruses and parasites that are derived from human or animal faces are not. Increased UV radiation may result in increased inactivation of enteric pathogens, or alternatively growth, whereas increased precipitation intensity will lead to peak concentrations of these pathogens due to e.g. sewage overflow and runoff. Global climate change is anticipated to have a wide-ranging impact and possibly adverse effects on human health, which may be direct or indirect.
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