Climate Change is now a disease, and it catches hold of its first patient

Canada’s British Columbia has diagnosed the world’s first patient with Climate Change.

The deteriorating environment has got its first victim. And, this isn’t a joke, by any means!  When a doctor in British Columbia, in Canada, got to treat a patient who was brought in with complaints of breathing trouble, he investigated what actually was the reason for the ailment.

The detailed diagnosis led to one answer. The 70-year-old patient was suffering from “Climate Change”.  And, she became the first-ever patient in the world to be diagnosed with ‘Climate Change’.

Dr Kyle Merrit had treated innumerable patients who were brought to him after their health conditions had worsened due to exposure to atmospheric heat earlier. The doctor heads the Kootenay Lake Hospital’s emergency department.

With cases of exposure to heat waves exacerbating medical conditions such as diabetes and heart ailments, Dr Merrit consulted with fellow doctors at neighbouring provinces of Prince George, Kamloops, Vancouver and Victoria to undertake the unusual diagnosis on the patient.

Canada experiences severe heat conditions

Canada has seen unparalleled heat conditions of late, with hundreds of people reported dead in a heatwave that broke Canadian heat records during June this year. An all-time high of 49.6 degrees Celsius was recorded on June 29 in British Columbia.

Dr Merritt was quoted by the Times Colonist of Canada as saying that the patient who was brought in with breathing issues had all her health problems – she had diabetes and heart failure – had worsened and she was trying very hard to stay hydrated. The patient who was living in a trailer that had no air conditioning was exposed to extreme heat, and her condition was deteriorating.

Climate Change fast worsening public health

Dr Merrit decided to go for the unusual diagnosis because he wanted to look for the underlying cause of the patient’s illness. The doctor also formed a collective called Doctors and Nurses for Planetary Health, in the hope that other physicians would be able to establish a more straightforward link between their patients’ health and climate change, the report added.

The Climate crisis is fast worsening public health, as the new diagnosis reveals. It was only a few days ago that the global nations converged in Glasgow for the COP26 summit. They had then deliberated upon issues like the link between public health and climate crisis too.  Just discussions will not help mankind, anymore.

With Climate Change transforming itself into a disease in the new era, it remains to be seen what the powerful nations of the planet would line up as precautions and treatment.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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