Climate change refers to the changes in the parameters of the climate such as temperature, precipitation, humidity on earth. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that changing the climatic factors such as global warming and precipitation are responsible for over 150,000 deaths annually (Patz, Campbell-Lendrum, Holloway, & Foley, 2005). Vectors are small organisms that carry serious diseases. Vector-borne diseases are the illness caused by an infectious microorganism (pathogen) that are transmitted to people by a vector between humans or from animals to humans (Gratz, 1999). Different kinds of vector-borne diseases such as malaria (endemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria), dengue (endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific), Chikungunya occurs in Africa, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) can be emerged due to a single bite of a tick vector (Stehman et al., 2002). And, the biology and ecology regarding the vectors are directly interrelated to the factors of the climate. World Health Organization plays a key role to draw attention to the vector-borne diseases throughout the world. About 3.9 billion people in over 128 countries in the world are at risk of contracting dengue, with 96 million cases estimated per year (WHO, 2014). African Union and UNICEF are also involved in reducing the effect of different vector-borne diseases throughout the world. Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) vector is spread over the entire territory of Georgia (Greiner et al., 2016). Eventually, It is a viral disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family (Leblebicioglu, 2010).

 

The symptoms of the disease are almost sudden that include fever, dizziness, vomiting, neck pain etc (Bente et al., 2013). Georgia is located in the South Caucuses. The mild temperatures and relative humidity of the subtropics are prevalent in the western regions closer to the Black Sea. The average temperature during summers in Georgia ranges from 68°F to 86°F, which means it is pleasantly warm during this time. In the mean annual precipitation varies from 1000 to 2800 mm throughout the Georgia country. The climatic factors are pretty much favorable for tick vector to survive. Tick is a cold-blooded vector. Cold-blooded animals are much more active in warm environments and are very sluggish in cold environments. About half of the population of Georgia live in rural regions and is involved in agrarian activities, which may put them at risk for CCHF. The first case of laboratory-confirmed CCHF was detected in the 2009 year and the second in the 2012 year in summer at the center of Infectious Diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology of Georgia. Both patients were 40-45 years old men, lived in the suburb of Tbilisi and in the region (Greiner et al., 2016). CCHF surveillance started in Georgia in 2009, when the disease reporting tool, the Electronic Integrated Disease Surveillance System was established nationally. The tool is used as part of the national surveillance system to report notifiable diseases. The hosts of the virus include domestic and wild animals e.g. cattle, sheep, goats, and ostriches. The CCHF virus can be transmitted to humans either by tick bites or through direct contact with the blood or tissues of an infected animal.

 

Understanding the issue of the impact of climate change and distribution of the vector-borne disease, Georgia proposes 3 solutions that are stated below-

1. Voluntary Organization:

The voluntary organization will be established throughout a country. The main objectives of the organization will be organizing effective seminars, discussions regarding the impacts of vector-borne diseases. The primary tasks that must be done to protect individuals from the attacks of the vectors e.g. the farmers must wear long-sleeved shirt and pant so that a vector cannot bite him easily, using insect repellent etc. Waste Management System should also be improved and they can play an important role regarding this as well.

2. Establishing the Vector-borne Disease Research Center:

A country can establish some research center where the researchers will conduct research on reducing the effect of the diseases by finding out different solutions. Even, Vector Biology, Livestock and Medical Entomology should be focused on in different universities of a nation.

3. Educational Campaign:

To raise social awareness, education campaigns regarding the distribution and impact of the vector-borne diseases must be considered. We can launch campaigns on different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Thus, the users of the social media platforms can be aware of the issue and they can also share the campaigns with his/her friends. Besides, posters, leaflets, and flyers can be a remarkably effective way of getting the message related to the vector-borne diseases out to the public.

 

References:

Bente, D. A., Forrester, N. L., Watts, D. M., McAuley, A. J., Whitehouse, C. A., & Bray, M. (2013). Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever: History, epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical syndrome and genetic diversity. Antiviral Research, 100(1), 159–189. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2013.07.006

Gratz, N. G. (1999). Emerging and Resurging Vector-Borne Diseases. Annual Review of Entomology, 44(1), 51–75. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ento.44.1.51

Greiner, A. L., Mamuchishvili, N., Kakutia, N., Stauffer, K., Geleishvili, M., Chitadze, N., … Salyer, S. J. (2016). Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever knowledge, attitudes, practices, risk factors, and seroprevalence in rural Georgian villages with known transmission in 2014. PLoS ONE, 11(6), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0158049

Leblebicioglu, H. (2010). Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Eurasia. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 36(SUPPL. 1), 43–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2010.06.020

Patz, J. A., Campbell-Lendrum, D., Holloway, T., & Foley, J. A. (2005). Impact of regional climate change on human health. Nature, 438(7066), 310–317. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04188

Stehman, D. S., Smith, M. C., Sani, R. A., Gray, G. D., Baker, R. L., Schantz, P. M., … GoI, MoHFW. (2002). A global brief on vector-borne diseases. Symposium of Goat Health, 11(September), 1–9. https://doi.org/WHO/DCO/WHD/2014.1

https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/georgia/tbilisi/climate

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/vector-borne-diseases

https://www.who.int/gho/countries/geo/country_profiles/en/

 

Author:
Md. Nayem Hasan Munna
Soil and Environmental Sciences,
The University of Barishal,
Barishal, Bangladesh.
Email: nayemhasansesbu@gmail.com
Website: www.nayemhasanmunna.info

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