Carcasses in the melting ice: climate change promotes old diseases-a-days

The people in the North-East of Siberia believed defeated the dangerous bacteria for a long time. But then the permafrost soil thawed. A twelve-year-old died and more than 70 people came to the hospital. The cause of the anthrax, terrorists for attacks have used was.

The explanation for the incidents on the Yamal Peninsula in 2016, is a cause of Worry: The Boy is said to have taken up the pathogens on the meat of a sick reindeer. With increasing temperatures, the bacteria from the soil had been released, and initially infected animals.

The Diagnosis

He is hard of hearing, then fluid running from the ears – behind the animal were sub-tenants

What is the risk lurks in the soil, the thawing due to global warming, increasingly? “The danger is quite real,” says the virologist Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit from the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for tropical medicine in Hamburg. On cadavers, the ice is now due to rising temperatures, could have bacteria even can centuries to survive.

Rising temperatures prepare researchers worry

Just recently, the European earth observation programme Copernicus reported that may was the global average, the warmest may since records began in 1979. The highest values were measured in Parts of Siberia, where the temperature was ten degrees higher than the average for the years 1981-2010. Also in Alaska and in the Antarctic, it had been significantly warmer than in the Mediterranean.

The concern is that the climate could bring back change in human diseases, the rails long since been eradicated. For centuries people – including those who died of disease and disease-trains were buried in the permafrost of the Arctic. What is the impact of pandemics, not least by the current Corona wave of Infection.

In many places the permafrost soil thaws, layer by layer. Climate change impacts according to experts, in regions with permafrost, especially in Alaska, Canada and Siberia is significantly stronger than in many other parts of the world. According to the IPCC, temperatures in the Permafrost in the permafrost have risen in the past 40 years, to record levels – after millions of years, with temperatures such as in a freezer.

Virus detection after decades under ice

More than ten years ago, researchers at the US National Institute for allergies and infectious diseases at the coast of Alaska made a discovery: a mass grave in a remote Inuit village near the town of Brevig Mission, was a woman of the indigenous people’s group, more than 75 years, more than two meters of ice and debris buried, as scientists wrote. The Permafrost and the fat reserves of women have led to the virus particles remained in your lungs is well preserved. So good that researchers Heiress formations of the Spanish flu were from your extract of the disease, which gave the world 100 years ago, a terrible pandemic.

After Anthrax Outbreak

250.000 reindeer to be killed in Siberia

How dangerous such a virus from the ground, and the once once of course can be for today’s people? “Viruses no greater risk”, the Hamburg virologist Schmidt-Chanasit. In order to make people sick, must be the recorded virus load is large. In addition, the infectivity over the years take. The longer a virus-infected cadaver, or human Remains are under the ice, the less dangerous pathogens are still.

Although researchers at holes in the ice or in permafrost soil have viable viruses found. “But which have been brought under laboratory conditions to life,” says Schmidt-Chanasit. If the ice is in the nature of virus-free, you will be suspended immediately environmental influences, and die quickly. Animals would have to come, for example, directly with a thawed and infected carcasses in contact, to be able to possibly be infected.

Bacteria resistant

More resistant bacteria – and thus more dangerous. “Anthrax spores are environmentally stable,” says Schmidt-Chanasit. They are able to survive in the frozen ground for a long time, and later animals and people sick. Bacteria, the Anthrax, even anthrax called – cause, on the Yamal Peninsula already all the reindeer get sick flocks. In recent years, there have been reports of reindeer to die. Many animals are now being vaccinated as a preventive measure. Only this spring.

Two years ago, discovered by Russian biologists in Yakutia in the North-East of Siberia microorganisms in layers, which they estimated an age of more than three million years ago. According to the researchers, the biggest Problem with thawing of permafrost is soil that long frozen and today’s bacteria come in contact and genetic material could replace, such as the Russian state Agency reported Tass. Then it may happen that harmless microbes are dangerous pathogens are.

Danger from mosquitoes and ticks

However, viruses and bacteria. in the course of climate change not only because of the melting of ice and tauender soils to be a threat for the health Ticks and mosquitoes play in our Wide increasingly as a Carrier of infectious diseases that were previously restricted to southern climes. One reason for this is that invasive species are better due to the mild, which had become Winter.

In the South of France, people with the Zika have been in the past year-the Virus lies through there home made tiger mosquito is – it was the first such evidence in Europe. Other invasive disease provides for outbreaks in Europe: the isolated cases of fatal West Nile fever. At the end of September 2019, the first case in Germany acquired infection in humans was known.

Originally from Africa, the root disease was previously considered a disease mainly in birds, is known. Is of great concern: The Virus can be transmitted by normal domestic mosquitoes. Here, too, the climate change plays a role: The warmer it is, the faster the pathogen in the mosquito reproduces itself according to experts, the risk of Transmission grows. The West Nile Virus could cause in the future, also in Germany, seasonal disease waves.

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