Climate change can cause childhood gastro

Share Canberra's trusted news:

EXTREME weather is linked to childhood gastro and better protections are needed, a new global study from ANU has found.  

The study found global changes in weather, including in Australia, were linked to cases of cryptosporidiosis – a common water-borne parasite that leads to gastro, particularly in children under the age of five.

Lead researcher Dr Aparna Lal’s study found, in some places, a clear relationship between rainfall and flooding and childhood cryptosporidiosis.

“It was surprising that extreme weather conditions stood out,” Dr Lal says.

“We expected to find a much stronger relationship with water infrastructure and sanitation and country-level development. The relationship was especially notable in areas near the equator and in tropical areas.

“We know flooding is linked to childhood gastro. And with climate change we can expect more extreme weather events like heavy rainfall and flooding. What our study shows is that in certain regions, this will impact water-related health risks.

“And the closer and closer extreme weather events like flooding take place, there is less recovery time for kids – meaning they are likely to be ill more.

“Climate change will impact our children’s health. This is just another example of how.”

Dr Lal says the study highlights concerns for better disease management in areas increasingly hit with extreme weather, especially the tropics and equator.

She says medical practitioners, policymakers, natural resource managers and the water industry need to rethink their approach to protecting health in the face of climate change.

“Although huge public health gains have been made to reduce the burden of diarrhoea globally, climate change can threaten these gains,” Dr Lal says.

“If we want to prevent this easily spreadable parasite causing gastro in a time of climate change, a health sector driven response is not enough.

“If we know heavy rainfall or a flood is going to flush pathogens through our drinking water then we need meteorologists looking at weather patterns, the water industry and catchment managers monitoring water quality, as well as health sector and medical practitioners being prepared for a possible increase in childhood gastro.”

The research is published in “Science of the Total Environment”.

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleAt the launch of the final stage of Campbell 5
Next articleShocked Labor moves on – but to what policy destination?

Leave a Reply