What is it about?

We show that precipitation shocks are related to symptoms of diarrheal disease in children under 3 y of age. The direction of the association varies by climate zone—in the topical savanna regions, anomalous dryness is associated with an increased risk of diarrhea, while in the humid subtropical regions, the same health risk is associated with heavy precipitation events. We present evidence that different health interventions may be effective, depending on local climate conditions and the type and duration of the precipitation shock.

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Why is it important?

Preventable diarrheal diseases are among the leading causes of child death globally. Climate change and the related increase in the incidence of extreme weather events are shown to enhance disease transmission channels, such as the concentration of pathogens in the environment during droughts and contact with contaminated water following floods. A better understanding is needed of the types of public health interventions that are most effective for mitigating these health risks.

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This page is a summary of: Uncovering social and environmental factors that increase the burden of climate-sensitive diarrheal infections on children, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2119409120.
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