Newswise — As government, business, and community leaders from around the world gather in New York today for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, attention to the immediate and international threats posed by climate change to human health will be critical to achieving the summit’s goals of advancing from words to urgent action.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America recognizes climate change as a global health emergency and calls for policies responding to the intrinsic links between warming temperatures and rising sea levels and epidemic and pandemic events as well as other infectious disease threats to public and individual health. In addition to supporting policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we urge leaders to respond to these threats with meaningful investments to improve monitoring and preparedness for infectious disease impacts of climate change, with measures that include enhanced vector surveillance and vector-borne disease tracking, and increased funding and research to develop and implement prevention strategies for waterborne, zoonotic, and vector-borne diseases. The role of multidisciplinary international collaborations to develop predictive models of climate impacts on infectious disease spread, with a focus on characteristics that can inform public health interventions will be crucial to containing the most immediate threats posed by climate change.

IDSA’s 2019 Policy on Preparing for the Infectious Diseases Complications Related to Climate Change, includes more recommended actions and explanations of specific risks. IDSA also has developed a set of further resources.