Germany must prepare for tropical diseases due to climate change – RKI head
Global warming could make Germany a breeding ground for mosquitos and ticks transmitting tropical diseases such as dengue fever, the president of Germany's national disease control authority Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, warned in an interview with Funke Mediengruppe. “Climate change leads to an expansion of habitats for mosquitoes and ticks in Germany,” he said. Many mosquito and tick species can transmit viral, bacterial and parasitic infectious agents, such as zika or dengue viruses, Wieler argued. “A return of malaria, which is caused by plasmodia, is also possible,” he said, and emphasised that people in the relevant medical professions need to be prepared for the possibilities of these diseases. The RKI is the government’s central scientific institution in the field of biomedicine.
In reports over recent years, researchers have shown that negative effects of climate change on citizens' health are growing in Germany. Due to man-made climate change, the average temperature rise, and extreme weather events such as heat waves become more frequent and severe.