A science reporter becomes a West Nile zombie - The Washington Post
Simply put, more heat means more mosquitoes carrying more virus sickening more people.
And yet, as a reporter, I rarely see the effects of climate change on human health discussed outside public health circles.
A few years back, Knowlton and colleagues estimated that the 2002 West Nile season cost the United States about $200 million in direct medical costs. But the price of disease “is not part of the ledger sheet when we talk about costs of climate change,” said Knowlton. “We talk about damage to infrastructure, disappearing shorelines, damage to ecosystems, and those are all totally important. But we need to put in the costs of health care, emergency room visits, doctors, hospitalizations, too.”
As for me, the zombie departed with the summer heat. He did leave some calling cards, though: the up-and-down malaise, the pseudo-fever, weakness and tingling in my arms and feet. I figure that puts me right in sync with the planet: overheated and with an uncertain outlook.
Someday, though, I’m confident that the malign finger of climate change will no longer be tapping on my shoulder. He’ll find other people to bother, and they too will experience what’s sure to be a popular sensation in this new century we’ve created: a sick little suspicion that the heat will never end.