Maryland addresses health impact of climate change
Maryland is one of only five states that has a published plan to address the health impacts of climate change, according to a new study by the Trust for America's Health, a non-profit group that focuses on disease prevention.
The group says that rising temperatures and sea levels are likely to spur more natural disaster, pollution and infectious diseases, which will cause more health problems and emergencies. But only Maryland, Virginia, Washington, New Hampshire and California are planning for this.
More than half of the states have climate change plans, but don't specifically work out how they will deal with related health emergencies, says the report, which is called "The Health Problems Heat up: Climate Change and the Public's Health." Some states have no plan at all.
To prevent such problems as heat-related sickness, respiratory infections, natural disasters, changes to the food supply and infectious diseases carried by insects, the group has some policy recommendations. They iare in the areas of proper funding and research, interagency coordination, accountability, communications and public engagement, surveillance and modeling and workforce.
We've gotten to see the government respond to public health emergencies -- Hurricane Katrina, swine flu -- do you believe as a country or a state we're ready for what else may come?
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