Examining the Relationship between Climate Change and Vibriosis in the United States: Projected Health and Economic Impacts for the 21st Century.

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From: Environmental Health Perspectives(Vol. 130, Issue 8)
Publisher: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Document Type: Report
Length: 11,910 words
Lexile Measure: 1810L

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Abstract :

Background: This paper represents, to our knowledge, the first national-level (United States) estimate of the economic impacts of vibriosis cases as exacerbated by climate change. Vibriosis is an illness contracted through food- and waterborne exposures to various Vibrio species (e.g., non V. cholerae O1 and O139 serotypes) found in estuarine and marine environments, including within aquatic life, such as shellfish and finfish. Objectives: The objective of this study was to project climate-induced changes in vibriosis and associated economic impacts in the United States related to changes in sea surface temperatures (SSTs). Methods: For our analysis to identify climate links to vibriosis incidence, we constructed three logistic regression models by Vibrio species, using vibriosis data sourced from the Cholera and Other Vibrio Illness Surveillance system and historical SSTs. We relied on previous estimates of the cost-per-case of vibriosis to estimate future total annual medical costs, lost income from productivity loss, and mortality-related indirect costs throughout the United States. We separately reported results for V. parahaemolyticus, V. vulnificus, V. alginolyticus, and "V. spp.," given the different associated health burden of each. Results: By 2090, increases in SST are estimated to result in a 51% increase in cases annually relative to the baseline era (centered on 1995) under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5, and a 108% increase under RCP8.5. The cost of these illnesses is projected to reach $5.2 billion annually under RCP4.5, and $7.3 billion annually under RCP8.5, relative to $2.2billion in the baseline (2018 U.S. dollars), equivalent to 140% and 234% increases respectively. Discussion: Vibriosis incidence is likely to increase in the United States under moderate and unmitigated climate change scenarios through increases in SST, resulting in a substantial burden of morbidity and mortality, and costing billions of dollars. These costs are mostly attributable to deaths, primarily from exposure to V. vulnificus. Evidence suggests that other factors, including sea surface salinity, may contribute to further increases in vibriosis cases in some regions of the United States and should also be investigated. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP9999a

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A715833687