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Strengthen Public Health, Research Preparedness for Infectious Disease Impacts of Climate Change

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As the largest and oldest professional society of physicians, scientists and other health care professionals who specialize in transmitted diseases, the Infectious Diseases Society of America is deeply concerned about the ongoing impacts of climate change on epidemiologic patterns and public health in the United States and worldwide. Driven by warming temperatures and rising sea levels, these impacts can include, but are not limited to, increases in water-borne and vector-borne diseases and of emerging and re-emerging zoonotic infections. In addition, due to habitat displacement and population migration, the potential for infections to spread rapidly and to settings lacking response readiness poses a growing challenge. To address these concerns, IDSA has released policy recommendations in support of strengthened surveillance, planning, and increased resources and education to improve our ability to respond to the consequences of climate change.

IDSA supports policies that include:

  • Enhanced investment in public health infrastructure and workforce.
  • Funding and research to develop and implement prevention strategies for water-borne, zoonotic, and vector-borne diseases.
  • Inclusion of the infectious disease risks associated with natural disasters, population displacement, and climate change in comprehensive disaster response plans.
  • Enhanced vector surveillance and human disease tracking for vector-borne diseases.
  • Long-term, fine-scale studies to assess the relationships among weather variables and infectious disease determinants.
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration to develop predictive models of the impact of climate on the epidemiology of infectious diseases, with a focus on characteristics that can inform public health interventions (e.g. predicting seasonal onset of tick-borne illness).
  • Patient education strategies to improve preparedness for the health impacts of climate change.


IDSA’s full climate change response policy recommendations and rationale are here.

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