“There is no speculation here whatsoever,” Camilo Mora, a geographer at the University of Hawaii who headed the research, told the AP. “These are things that have already happened.”
Of the 375 known human infectious diseases, researchers found 218 (58%) are exacerbated by at least one of 10 types of climate-linked extreme weather. For example, extreme heat fuels the spread of COVID-19 by forcing people in low-income communities to congregate in air-conditioned rooms, expands regions vulnerable to malaria, and even exposes humans to anthrax, like when a Siberian child touched a reindeer carcass exposed by permafrost melt and started an outbreak in 2016.
“I have to tell you,” Mora told HuffPost, “as this database started to grow, I started to get scared, man.”