Study links global warming to rise in waterborne illnesses

Study links global warming to rise in waterborne illnesses
In this Monday, Sept. 12, 2013 file photo, an oyster cultivator holds oyster seed before spreading it into the waters of Duxbury Bay in Duxbury, Mass. A study published Monday, Aug. 8, 2016 connects rising temperatures to increasing rates of several waterborne diseases. About a dozen species of vibrio bacteria make people sick from eating raw or undercooked seafood, particularly oysters, or drinking or swimming in tainted water. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Rising global temperatures are clearly linked to increasing waterborne food poisoning, particularly from eating raw oysters, along with other nasty infections, a new study shows.

About a dozen species of vibrio (VIB'-ree-oh) bacteria make people sick from eating raw or undercooked seafood or drinking or swimming in tainted water. It also causes cholera, although that was not the focus of the research.

Lab-confirmed vibrio infections in the United States have increased from an average of about 390 a year from the late 1990s to an average of 1,030 in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But most cases aren't confirmed by tests and reported.

"It's a remarkable increase on an annual basis," said study lead author Rita Colwell of the University of Maryland, a top microbiologist who used to head the National Science Foundation.

The study examined Europe and North America, but the most consistent tracking of vibrio illnesses were in the United States. The CDC blames about 100 deaths a year on vibrio on average.

Even Alaska, where such outbreaks used to be unheard of because the bacteria needs warm water, is getting cases from people eating vibrio-infected oysters, Colwell said. Her study, published in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , highlights an unprecedented wave of vibrio illnesses from swimming in northern Europe during heat waves in 1994, 1997, 2003, 2006 and 2010.

Until now, researchers had indirectly linked climate change to an increase in illnesses from the bacteria, Colwell said. Using DNA, a 50-year database of plankton, water temperatures and disease reports, she shows a more comprehensive connection.

"Now we have linked very directly the increase and the trend in number of cases, so it's all coming together in great detail," Colwell said.

With the giant database of plankton and DNA, the international team of scientists was able to monitor how pervasive the have become in waterways around the world by creating an index. The index doesn't show the number of vibrio, but its relative abundance, said study author Luigi Vezzulli of the University of Genoa. That index has about tripled in many of the areas they examined, including the North Atlantic.

That type of examination of vibrio levels in plankton hasn't been done before and "is critical to understand the regional scale of changes in climate to potential increases in human risk," said Erin Lipp, a University of Georgia, professor of . She wasn't part of the study but praised it as exciting and important.


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Aug 09, 2016
4000 days without a major US hurricane proves global warming is a good thing and this is not a speculative "link".

http://www.drroys...-strike/

Aug 09, 2016
How many times do we have to state that the U.S. is only 5% of the Earth's surface.

LOL. The ignoRant of the the Chicken Little retard of the month.
How many times do we have to state that using only 5% of your lone neuron, just confirms your stupidity. Pretty retarded of you there onions.....

Aug 09, 2016
The planet has been both warmer and colder and this within historical times.


Aug 10, 2016
No one sane would swim in the Nile or disturb the sediment in a southern American pond, owing to the kinds of illnesses it's possible to contract. But lets not forget that WINTER weather kills tens of thousands every year in Europe, an "enlightened" medically-sophisticated continent. Cold will always kill more than warm.

Aug 10, 2016
philstacy9 - the absence of a hurricane is just as bad as it is good, weather abnormality without question. This is not a good thing by any standards.

Aug 10, 2016
philstacy9 - the absence of a hurricane is just as bad as it is good, weather abnormality without question. This is not a good thing by any standards.

The logic of the willfully ignorant Chicken Little.
Tell us, what's NORMAL weather?
When did it ever happen?

Aug 14, 2016
Climate influence on Vibrio and associated human diseases during the past half-century in the coastal North Atlantic
PNAS 2016 ; published ahead of print August 8, 2016, doi:10.1073/pnas.1609157113

Recorder (CPR) archive (21, 22). The CPR is a long-term survey of phytoplankton and zooplankton in the global ocean, and it has produced one of the longest and most geographically extensive collections of marine biological samples in the world (www.sahfos.ac.uk/). In our pioneering work, we were able to recover environmental DNA from formalin-fixed CPR samples that had been stored for up to ∼50 y.

Aug 14, 2016
...WINTER weather kills tens of thousands every year in Europe, an "enlightened" medically-sophisticated continent. Cold will always kill more than warm.
Negative. In 2015, there were roughly 214 million malaria cases and an estimated 438 000 malaria deaths and that is just one tropical disease. The thousands of cold related deaths you mentioned are related to poverty, not directly to diseases.

Sep 07, 2016
I believe that climate change will ultimately influence the incidence of diseases by sea and land... I've just found a great info on the new Planetary Project on planetaryproject.com/global_problems/ website. It is aimed to find solutions to significantly reduce or even tackle global problems.

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