A Change In Climate May Mean More Than Creaky Joints: Symposium At ESA Annual Meeting Will Examine Linkages Between Ecological Change And Human Health

Soon, people will be slipping ecology into their small talk:

- Rainy year.
- So what, more colds maybe, but no biggie. I'm worried about the mice.
- Exactly. Rain means more mouse food and more mice means another Hantavirus outbreak.

From the ivory tower to everyday conversation, a scientific symposium convenes to discuss the effect of ecological change on human health at the ESA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, from August 2-6. This year's meeting is being held in conjunction with the American Institute of Biological Sciences and eight other societies.

The symposium, "Leopold and Hippocrates: Linkages Between Human Health and Ecological Change," provides a comprehensive, up-to-date look at the scientific understanding of emerging infectious disease (EID) transmission, food/water quality degradation, and biodiversity/ ecosystem services loss. The symposium is scheduled from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. on August 5 in room 309 of the Baltimore Convention Center.

On the EID front, Jonathan Patz of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health will join Elaine Matthews of the Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in a discussion of the role of climate change in future disease transmission. While the climate-linked scourge of malaria may not be a U.S. problem, new diseases such as Hantavirus, which strikes the U.S. Southwest, will keep scientists and their vegetation surveying satellite busy.

Building on the theme of disease, Francesca Grifo of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History will discuss the effect of disrupted food production systems on populations susceptible to disease and malnourishment. The implication is: malnourished peoples will not only have a greater chance of contracting diseases, such as intestinal parasites, hepatitis, malaria, and respiratory infections, but will also have a g

Contact: Gabriel Paal
Ecological Society of America

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