Infectious diseases like malaria, schistosomiasis, dengue fever, and zika virus are responsible for large burdens of disease globally and are highly sensitive to changes in environmental conditions, including temperature, soil moisture and precipitation patterns, deforestation, dams and irrigation projects, and others. It’s an urgent priority to better understand how land management practices alter the risk of these diseases in different settings and what types of interventions can reduce exposure to these diseases. Most emerging diseases globally are zoonotic diseases (with both human and animal hosts), and clearer understanding of anthropogenic influences on the emergence of zoonotic diseases (like HIV and Ebola) is another priority in planetary health research. Given the implications for food security and livelihoods, as well as for the state of global biodiversity, animal disease is also an important subtheme of disease ecology in the planetary health research context.
- L1: Understand the environment-host-pathogen disease triangle and provide examples.
- L2: Explain how environmental change can change the incidence, prevalence, geographical distribution, and/or severity of infectious diseases.
- L3: Describe the criteria for an infectious disease hot spot and explain their characteristics with regard to environmental change.
- L4: Recognize the interface between human and animal health in the contexts of environmental change and infectious diseases.