There is no question that the changing climate is already having an impact on Americans’ health. Heat waves, wild fires and air pollution are growing worse; the range of vector-borne infectious diseases is expanding; intense storms are causing more disruptions to water and food supplies, as well as to the health care delivery system.
So how should journalists go about covering this unfolding environmental health story? Continue reading
Photo: ninaraCrescent Island Game Park in Kenya’s Rift Valley.
Could another seemingly obscure mosquito-borne disease that formerly existed mostly in Africa spread around the globe like the Zika virus?
Scientists say climate change increases that risk. With warming temperatures, mosquitoes carrying diseases are more abundant and are spreading to farther regions of the world. For journalists looking for stories about climate change and public health, infectious disease is a rich area for exploration. Continue reading
Photo: CDCAedes aegypti
More than five million children around the world die before the age of five from infectious diseases like pneumonia, malaria and measles, and scientist John Aitchison wants to talk to journalists about his work to reverse that trend.
“We can help journalists with the significance or size of an issue and provide understanding of why a disease is hard to cure or treat,” says Aitchison, whose organization, the Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR) announced plans in July 2018 to merge with the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Continue reading
Summertime and the living is easy – sometimes.
While most of us look forward to the warmer weather and participating in outdoor activities, summer is not always kind to older adults. Moreover, despite what seems like an annual warning about the dangerous effects of hot temperatures and poor air quality on seniors, there are still too many reports of older people hospitalized or dying from heat-related causes. That’s why it’s still a good idea to remind everyone that summertime isn’t always so easy.
Al Gore’s new movie, “An Inconvenient Sequel, Truth to Power,” delves into the most recent effects of climate change on humans and nature. (Watch the official trailer here.)
Among those most affected by a thinning ozone layer, rising temperatures and increased air pollution are older adults. Recent research finds that even air pollution within legal limits could mean an early death for older residents. Continue reading
Photo: CraneStation via FlickrIs this drought-stricken field a victim of global warning, climate change or something else?
Writing about the increasing temperatures around the globe has been a mainstay of environmental and science journalism for decades, but it has become increasingly more relevant for health journalists as well. Environmental health has always been a significant part of health coverage, and the impact of climate change on human health grows larger by the year. For example, covering natural disasters such as hurricanes (a great guide here) or tornadoes, or simply writing about extreme heat waves often calls for at least a mention of climate change these days. Continue reading