Climate change is already having a negative impact on Americans' health, from respiratory illness to the spread of infectious illnesses like Lyme Disease, a health consortium representing over half the nation's physicians said Wednesday.
Among other health threats, rising temperatures could lead to a reemergence of malaria in the United States, the group said in a new report on the health impact of climate change.
"We're sounding the alarm," said Dr. Mona Sarfaty, director of the new consortium and professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. "Climate change has become very real for the health of our patients. Unless we take concerted action, these harms to health are going to get much worse."
The group, the Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health, comprising 11 medical societies representing 435,000 clinical practitioners, held its national launch Wednesday and called for policymakers to speed the nation's transition to a low-carbon economy. The group will soon submit its new report to Congress.