With increasing knowledge of environmental factors playing a role in infectious diseases, it has become clear that the oceans and atmosphere are critically intertwined and significantly impact the seasonality of infectious diseases of humans, animals, and plants. The result is demonstrable impact on public health, agriculture, and animal husbandry.
Climate impacts on human infectious diseases, examples of which are malaria, dengue, Lyme disease, Hanta virus, and many vector borne diseases, can be profound. An excellent model is provided by the waterborne diseases, cholera, rotavirus, and a variety of bacterial and viral pathogens.
Coastal waters impacted by terrestrial run-off and domestic/industrial waste discharges increasingly are tracked as the source of infections in humans via direct contact (recreation) or food borne (shellfish, coastal fishes, and crustaceans (shrimp and crabs). Understanding and monitoring environmental parameters using in situ sensors and remote sensors provide a critical tool in the 21st Century for public health.
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