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58% of human infectious diseases can be worsened by climate change

Flooding from hurricanes like Irma in Florida can overwhelm sewer systems and spread pathogens in other ways.

Enlarge / Flooding from hurricanes like Irma in Florida can overwhelm sewer systems and spread pathogens in other ways. (credit: Brian Blanco | Getty Images)

Climate change can exacerbate a full 58% of the infectious diseases that humans come in contact with worldwide, from common waterborne viruses to deadly diseases like plague, our new research shows.

Our team of environment and health scientists reviewed decades of scientific papers on all known pathogenic disease pathogens to create a map of the human risks aggravated by climate-related hazards.

The numbers were jarring. Of 375 human diseases, we found that 218 of them, well over half, can be affected by climate change.

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