-- A new report warns that tropical diseases could become common in Indiana
by the end of the century as the state's climate grows warmer and wetter.
The report on
global warming's expected impact on the state released Thursday in
association with the ongoing Indiana Climate Change Impact Assessment, the
Indianapolis Star reported.
The report says
climate change driven by fossil fuel emissions will bring an increase of
disease-spreading mosquitoes, ticks and other pests to the state. They can
carry diseases such as malaria, Zika and dengue fever.
This assessment is
the first time that the impact of climate change has been thoroughly
examined, according to the newspaper.
is the lead author of the report and the director of the Center for Urban
Health at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He said
conditions "are already ripe in southern Indiana to host these diseases."
"Diseases that we eradicated in the U.S. 100 years ago are likely to be
raging back in the near future," Filippelli said.
number of days when temperatures reach below 5 degrees contributes to pest
Marion County is
among those that have already started to see more pests. The county recorded
a 500 percent increase in mosquitoes since 1981. An increase in extreme
rainfall and flooding will also bring risks that include toxic algal blooms,
gastrointestinal illnesses and prevalence of lead and mold inside homes.
"Climate change has
been termed as a 'threat multiplier,'" said Paul Halverson, dean of the
Fairbanks School of Public Health. "The reality is that Indiana really has
substantial health challenges."