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Public Response to Changing Patterns of Disease Risk

DEV Key Contact:  Roger Few
Project Dates: 2009-2010
Project Status: Completed 2010

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Climate change is expected to lead to changes in prevalence of some diseases. Such diseases include various pathogens, but those most strongly linked with climatic change tend to be vector-borne diseases whose host species may undergo changes in population and distribution as a result of changing ecological conditions.

Analysis of the implications for health security requires not only better understanding of the potential dynamics of disease distribution but also stronger understanding of the potential for adaptation both by health system agencies and by the population exposed to changing risk. This analysis focused on the last element - public reaction and response to changing risk. This aspect has received the least systematic research from health sciences, though it has major implications for human vulnerability and security. It is also critical as a means to inform effective health promotion (which may be the only feasibly widespread response in low-income countries). This review project collated work on behavioural response to infectious diseases that have potential to undergo step-changes in prevalence associated with climate change.

DEV Researchers: Roger Few

Selected Outputs: Few, R. (in press) ‘Health Behaviour Theory, Adaptive Capacity and the Dynamics of Disease Risk', Climate and Development