How Climate Change Can Rattle the Foundations of Public Health

September 15, 2014 3:14 PM

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How Climate Change Can Rattle the Foundations of Public Health

As the Ebola Zaire virus -- one of the deadliest pathogens on earth -- continues to ravage parts of west Africa, political leaders around the world are finally beginning to understand an argument I have been making since my first day in office. Better health is a nation-building strategy. Without fundamental public health infrastructures in place, no country is stable, no society is secure, no resilience exists to withstand the shocks that our 21st-century world is delivering with ever-greater frequency and force.

An outbreak of horrific disease caused by a deadly and dreaded virus is one such shock. The extreme weather events caused by climate change are another. Climate change poses a very different kind of threat to health. It has no epidemiologically circumscribed geographical focus, roped in by human cha...

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