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Climate Change Sparks Rise in Gastrointestinal Infections, Study Warns

Visual Representation for Digestive Illness

The latest research has found a shocking connection between increasing temperature and the digestive system of humans. According to the latest study, people are at more risk of getting a gastrointestinal infection if they are living in hot and humid regions.

The study was conducted in Britain and concluded that climate change, which has been leading to global warming, can result in weakened digestion – increasing the chances of getting sick from diarrheal infection. It is noteworthy that the infection is caused by campylobacter bacterial infections, according to reports by HealthDay News.

Visual Representation for digestive discomfort | Credits: Shutterstock

The study has been led by Dr Gianni Lo Locono, who works as a senior lecturer in biostatistics and epidemiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey. Dr Lo Lacono said, “This information is invaluable, as illnesses such as campylobacteriosis not only cause discomfort to individuals but have enormous societal impacts, with people having to call in sick to work and puts extra pressure on health services across the world.”

How Campylobacteriosis affects humans? 

Health experts have significantly mentioned that Campylobacteriosis can enter the human body by taking food and water, which could result in stomachache and diarrhea for many days. In the majority of cases, the infection is mild, but it could severely infect small children, the elderly, and people with less immunity.

Campylobacteriosis Virus | Credits: Shutterstock

The study!

The study was published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology on January 18. It was conducted by an expert team from Surrey – after examining approximately 1 million cases of Campylobacteriosis in England and Wales. The examined cases were reported over a period of 20 years.

The conclusion of the study unveiled that when the temperature was below 46 degrees Fahrenheit, Campylobacteriosis showed steady results. Meanwhile, when the temperature was raised by around 9 degrees Fahrenheit, the rate of infection also increased.

Additionally, the cases also increased after the level of humidity reached between 75 percent and 80 percent.

According to reports by HealthDay, during a university news release, the lead researcher, Lo Lacono, stated, “What we have found is that rising temperatures, humidity, and increased day length are associated with the spread of campylobacteriosis.”

The researcher further added, “We do not fully understand why this may be. It could be that warm weather increases the survival and spread of pathogenic bacteria [so the weather causes the disease], or alternatively, it could be people’s behavior and how they socialize during such periods.”

While concluding the study, Lo lacana stated, “Climate change not only has an environmental impact but has the potential to negatively affect our health by aiding the spread of infectious diseases.”

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