[Title Page]

[Disease Vectors]

[Case Study]

[GIS Data]

[Future Indications]



Indications for the Future and Suggestions for Further Research

According to numerous studies conducted by environmental and health organizations, an increase in mortality from vector-borne diseases due to climatic changes would have "far reaching economic consequences" (EPA 1999). Furthermore, these diseases are not by any means exclusively confined to the tropics. Tourism, trade, business travel and immigration are bringing cases of the diseases into the industrialized world, where health systems are unused to diagnosing them. "Diagnoses often come too late, and case fatalities are unacceptably high" In view of the poor economic status of most African nations, global efforts will be necessary to tackle the potential health effects in those regions alone. (EPA 1999) Tropical diseases should therefore be matters of global concern. "They have been of the highest priority to the World Health Organization from its very first days of existence" (WHO 1990).

The situations for future disease spread are quite grim. Given the IPCC's projections for increased temperatures, we can only assume that the situations outlined in this investigation will worsen, possibly to global scales. Understanding the relationships between disease vectors and environmental change is a very large source of investigation. We have presented an outline of the issues of concern and potential effects, however investigations such as ours can only be as comprehensive as the available data will allow. Improvements need to be made in the gathering of epidemiological statistics, especially in rural areas where these diseases are most pronounced. In addition, it would be beneficial to study the effects of sustainable development on these disease amplifications, given the available data on the effects of global warming on economic infrastructures. In conclusion, one must not lose sight of the big picture when considering the effects of the aforementioned issues of concern. Examinations of root causes as well as the prioritization of solutions should be constantly evaluated and studied from economic, social, humanistic, and scientific standpoints.