Globalization and the Spread of Infectious Diseases
Salman Kazi 101127866
My first article is titled “Globalization and infectious diseases: A review of the linkages”. It is published by the World Health Organization and was created by Lance Saker, Kelley Lee, Barbara Cannito, Anna Gilmore, and Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum.
This article states that Globalization appears to cause unpredictable changes in the ecological, biological, and social conditions that shape the burder of infectious diseases in certain populations. An infection is when a micro-organism lives and spreads through another organism. These infections can cause symptoms from damage to the tissues and organs of the person infected. The way these diseases can be transmitted can vary, some can live in the environment and can directly reach humans, such as from soil. Another way of transmission is through animals, such as mosquitos, which is called vector-borne diseases. If direct transmission can occur between humans, then the infection is contagious. A person can be immune to the infectious agent through a previous infection that creates antibodies.
International trade can include food products, this changes dietary habits to cause a demand for fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the year. Generic produce can be more desirable than local produce due to lower costs. Data from first-world countries show that up to 10% of populations are affected annually by foodborne diseases. This is caused by mass production, handling procedures, environmental factors, new and emerging pathogens and poor regulation. Due to the demand of produce abroad, food may be contaminated during harvesting, storage, processing and transport, even before it reaches markets overseas. Salmonella infections caused by unhygienic practices when handing melons in Mexico are an example of this. Large distribution and centralized processing plants can also lead to widespread dissemination of foods. E. coli bacteria have been traced to hamburgers from outlets of a popular fast food chain in the US.
Experts have concluded that climate change can allow more global distribution of diseases such as malaria, dengue and leishmaniasis to countries at higher altitudes and higher latitudes. Diseases carried by mosquitos are sensitive to meteorological conditions. The eggs and larvae of mosquitos that spread dengue fever and yellow fever for example are killed at temperatures below 10 C. Warmth accelerates the biting rate of mosquitoes and the maturation of parasites and viruses inside them.
Deforestation can affect health in diverse ways. Rainforests absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide, solar radiation and extreme levels of rainfall. Loss of these may lead to more extreme global and local climate conditions. Forest clearing in Tanzania for example have increased their local temperatures by 5C.
My second article is titled “The Impact of Globalization on Infectious Disease Emergence and Control: Exploring the Consequences and Opportunities: Workshop Summary”. It is published by The National Academies Press and was written by Stacey Knobler, Adel Mahmoud, Stanley Lemon, and Leslie Pray.
This article stats that the increase in cross-border and cross-continental movement of people, goods, food, power has a huge potential to affect the spread and emergence of infectious diseases. More people than ever before are on the move, traveling faster and are visiting areas that are previously thought to be remote. Scientists are referring to the twenty-first century as the “century of migration”. Mosquitoes can cross the ocean by riding in airplane wheel wells and therefore lead to bringing diseases from other countries over. For example, the West Nile virus was brought to New York City in 1999. Global Warming also leads to the increase in cases of Malaria and Dengue.
Foodborne illnesses are spread much more easily as the demand for a global food market increases, and this also brings concerns about anti-biotic resistance. Animals that produce food are given antibiotic drugs to prevent diseases, but the microbes can become resistant to them which can cause major problems. Two out of three fatal infectious diseases are spread person to person. A greater population density brings people closer together and therefore increases transmission. This can increase the stress on weak health systems in poorer countries. Waterborne diseases are also common in countries that lack water and sanitation systems.
More than 5,000 urban center airports worldwide have international flights, these urban centers serve as stop points for international travelers, which can potentially mean that one infectious traveler could potentially and unknowingly set off a worldwide epidemic. Poor countries that have urban areas could have temporary living spaces for people in search of work, an infected migrant could spread a disease that would normally be contained locally.
Diseases spread through mosquitos and other insects can come through vehicles that transport people or goods. A dengue virus was spread through the Asian tiger mosquito to North America on rubber tires shipped to Houston.