A study of 30 years of data on diarrhea in Botswana found something pretty gross: As the climate changes, it’s probably going to mean that more people contract diarrheal disease. The Daily Climate reports:
Kathleen Alexander, an associate professor of wildlife at Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, says climate drives a large part of diarrhea and related disease, increasing the threat which a changing climate poses to vulnerable communities.
The analysis of 30 years of data by her team found an unexpected peak of diarrhea during the hottest and driest part of the year, when there were most flies.
Not to get too deep into the dirty details, but there are a few ways that diarrheal disease can spread. Generally, experts will point to dirty water as the main problem, but there are other possible exacerbating factors. In this case, because the researchers found more cases of diarrhea in the dry seasons, they suspect the flies are the direct cause of the spike in diarrhea cases. And the dry weather is the direct cause of the flies.
And guess what climate change will bring? Drier weather. Hopefully it will pick up some toilet paper too.