Thermal waves in Austria are the biggest health hazard 2

Thermal waves in Austria are the biggest health hazard

Thermal waves not only can cause the disease, but also increase allergies.

Thermal waves not only can cause the disease, but also increase allergies.
© APA / Jakob Gruber (theme image)

Hot waves can be hit more often in Austria in the future. The consequences would be not only more deaths due to heat, but also more infectious diseases, allergies and other health problems.

Thermal waves will in the future bring the strongest adverse effects of climate change on public health. This is the central statement in the recently published special report on "Health, Demography and Climate Change" of the Austrian Climate Change Panel (APCC).

The lack of nighttime cooling causes health problems

The report, published by the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), has compiled a number of scientists from the university and non-university sector for a year and a half. "The impact of climate change on health today is already tangible and can be seen as an increasing threat to health," the report states.

Heat becomes an increasing factor of health risk "due to constant temperature rise in the summer months, the number of days of heat and the duration of the heat event and the lack of night cooling". If climatic changes are not contained, it is likely to double the number of hot days at temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, and by 2100 it will even be ten times larger.

Austria must expect 400 deaths per year

"Moderate climate change" that would have been in Austria at an annual level
at least 400 deaths in 2030 and over 1,000 cases to the middle
century. First of all, older people would be affected,
their share of the population due to demographic trends
and urban areas where it is "quickly implemented"
urban planning measures "such as the reduction of thermal islands

With rising temperatures, there is a high likelihood of "increased allergy." By expanding plant breeding season, it comes on the one hand to the spread of autochthonous allergenic plants, and on the other hand to the increased immigration of new plant and animal species that may be problematic for people suffering from allergies. The second pollutant starters will also be introduced with an ambrose. Especially in urban areas with simultaneously increased levels of ozone or particles, pollen increase can lead to more respiratory disease.

Warming is conducive to spreading the disease

It favors warming in combination with globalized
Cargo transportation, for example, expanding enjoyment
Types of mosquitoes, including those infectious diseases, such as
Western Nile or Virus Utah. In that context it is necessary
Measures to suppress dangerous invasive species and strengthen
competence of the population and health workers, for example
early detection of such diseases.

In this context, the Research Council of the Center for Climate Change in Austria (CCCA) produced leaflets on "climate change and health" for physicians, pharmacists and nurses. It also contains articles from a special report.