The prize for biggest health risk in Hungary goes to…
According to napi.hu, the main statement of the study analysing the health effects of climate change in Hungary is that the occurrence of extreme temperature poses the most significant risk.
The findings of the study are based on climate-health examinations that have been conducted since 2000. The heatwaves have the greatest effect on the elderly, children and people suffering from chronic circulatory, metabolic, respiratory and mental diseases.
The negative effect of heatwaves was noticed in 2003 when the consistently high temperatures led to the death of 70 thousand people in Western Europe. During the period of a heatwave, the daily mortality rate increases by 15% in Hungary, for instance.
The rate generally varies between 9 and 20 percent, and it is the highest in the Central Hungarian region, Budapest and Veszprém County.
The publication also deals with the further effects of climate change. Among others, it mentions how it influences the spatial and temporal occurrence of contagious diseases spread by animal mediators (insects, rodents).
Hungary is mostly affected by the potential rise of the Lyme disease and different diseases spread by mosquitos.
The study attracts attention to the fact that due to the growing temperature food infections and poisoning of microbial origin can become more frequent. Mouldering is considered to be an outstanding risk in the case of cereal, oilseed and dried fruit products.
In 2002, the World Health Organisation attributed 2.4% of diarrheal cases to climate change.
Climate change also affects the spatial and temporal spreading of allergenic plants. After a warmer winter, the pollen season can start one month earlier, for example. Moreover, new allergenic plant species have been discovered since focusing on the effects of climate change.
In order to moderate the abovementioned harmful effects, the health care system needs to be prepared.
For instance, the adequate inner temperature is of key importance. The installation of air conditioning systems in all spaces and departments is similarly essential. The current 30% supply must be improved.
The researchers aim to attract attention to the importance of preparation and the increase of resistance. The national climate change strategy lists several goals regarding human health. The most crucial goal in the short run is the protection against heatwaves, but a particular emphasis has to be laid on the monitoring of living things spreading infectious diseases, as well.
Meanwhile, in the middle run, food safety measures have to be expanded in order to ward off the indirect effects of climate change.
The Hungarian health care system must be strengthened, with a special focus on prevention.