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WHO Studies Climate Affect on Disease

Posted - Dec. 11, 2003 at 4:20 p.m.



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MILAN, Italy, Dec 11, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The World Health Organization kicked off a study of how climate affects disease at a conference in Milan, Italy.

WHO and its partners are researching how weather and air pollution, as well as water and food contamination, affect how diseases emerge.

They are also writing guidelines designed to help governments and other organizations to monitor and assess the impact of climate change on their countries and to take action to prevent prevent harm.

Climate change is responsible for 2.4 percent of all cases of diarrhea worldwide and for 2 percent of all cases of malaria, according to the most recent WHO figures available. An estimated 150,000 deaths and 5.5 million Disability-Adjusted Life Years were caused in the year 2000 due to climate change, WHO said.

"There is growing evidence that changes in the global climate will have profound effects on the health and well-being of citizens in countries throughout the world," said Dr. Kerstin Leitner, WHO assistant director-general for sustainable development and healthy environments.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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