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Environmental change, global warming and infectious diseases in northern Australia

Currie, Bart J. (2001). Environmental change, global warming and infectious diseases in northern Australia. Environmental Health: The Journal of the Australian Institute of Environmental Health,1(4):35-44.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Environmental change, global warming and infectious diseases in northern Australia
Author Currie, Bart J.
Journal Name Environmental Health: The Journal of the Australian Institute of Environmental Health
Publication Date 2001
Volume Number 1
Issue Number 4
ISSN 1832-3367   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 35
End Page 44
Total Pages 10
Publisher Australian Institute of Environmental Health
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract We are increasing our clinical surveillance for new and increasing infectious diseases that may relate to environmental changes occurring in the short term and global warming over the longer term. It is predicted that with global warming the tropical north of Australia will become both hotter and wetter. This is likely to expand the receptive area within Australia for mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and the arboviruses, Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE), Japanese encephalitis, and dengue. Melioidosis has recently been diagnosed in two people in Central Australia (below the 'normal' endemic area of the Top End). Changing weather, together with environmental change from agricultural practices may well result in melioidosis becoming more common in parts of Australia other than the Top End. Leptospirosis has been increasingly diagnosed in north Queensland and the Top End, with several people critically ill. The crisis in East Timor has increased the movement of people and cargo between East Timor and Darwin and there has been the predicted increase in imported cases of malaria and dengue. The introduction of Japanese encephalitis to the Torres Strait and subsequently the Australian mainland is of great concern. The large numbers of feral pigs across northern Australia provide a potential amplifying host for this virus, which can result in destructive and fatal neurological disease (very similar to MVE virus disease). A new focus of scrub typhus has emerged in Litchfield Park south of Darwin, probably reflecting tourist exposure to bacteria present for millennia in a rodent-mite cycle.
Keywords Global warming
Tropical infections
Melioidosis
Murray Valley encephalitis virus
Japanese encephalitis virus
Dengue
Malaria
Leptospirosis
Scrub Typhus
Additional Notes This article has been extraced from Environmental Health: The Journal of the Australian Institute of Environmental Health, Vol.1, No.4, 2001.
Description for Link Link to published version
URL http://www.eh.org.au/documents/item/69


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