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Climate change creates new diseases
Tropical doctor Emil Reisinger from Rostock warns: The higher temperatures caused by climate change allow pathogens to thrive in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which previously lived further south. This threatens new and dangerous infections in these latitudes.
Ticks and bacteria
He cites vibrions, bacteria that now occur in the Baltic Sea and ticks as examples.
Warm Baltic Sea ideal
In a hot summer like 2018, the vibrions in the Baltic Sea find excellent conditions to reproduce. The bacteria penetrate the skin through open wounds and lead to serious infections. They are dangerous for people who are already weakened by previous illnesses or poor immune defense.
The larvae of paired leeches, cercariae, inhabitants of fresh water, multiply especially when the water is warmer than 20 degrees. In the course of global warming, this will be the case more frequently in northern Germany than before, and in shallow water these animals are likely to become more.
They transmit inflammation of the skin called bath dermatitis. Although this rash is not life-threatening, it scratches uncomfortably for about a week. In addition, the larvae occur mainly where many people go swimming in Mecklenburg - on the banks of lakes.
Ticks spread, according to Reisinger, with increasing warmth. With their bite, they could transmit viruses and bacteria, triggering early summer meningoencephilitis (TBE), a meningitis that can have nasty consequences.
Ticks even in Norway
With climate change, ticks have even arrived in northern Sweden and Norway today. Due to the higher temperatures, they can be active longer.
More mice, more ticks
One reason for the amount of ticks is the large number of rodents that the parasites value as hosts. Of these, more survive than before in the current mild winters.
Southern Germany risk area
Baden-Würtemberg is now a risk area for TBE, and most parts of Bavaria are too.
Mosquitoes and fever
With global warming, mosquitoes from the hot countries are coming to Central Europe, and they are transmitting tropical diseases. The tiger mosquito has been spreading in this country for years, and it spreads dengue fever as well as yellow and chikunya fever.
Dengue is transmitted by a bite of Asian tiger mosquitoes (and other species). The symptoms resemble flu: severe pain in the head, joints and muscles, high fever.
The disease is severe in about 2-4% of those affected. Then a dengue shock syndrome can occur. Approximately 1-5% of these severe courses are fatal.
West Nile Virus
West Nile fever is currently spreading on the Adriatic. Greece, Hungary, Romania and Serbia report over a hundred infected people, and nine people were killed in Serbia alone. Now there is a risk that the disease will spread across the Alps (Dr. Utz Anhalt)
Source: dpa / nd