Extinct diseases such as smallpox, plague and anthrax and could once again raise their heads due to environmental degradation and human behaviour warned Professor Alasdair M. Geddes of the University of Birmingham.The Professor was the keynote speaker at the 114th annual academic session of the Sri Lanka Medical Association on Friday.
"The disease patterns of the twenty first century are continuously changing due to the changing environment patterns and human behaviour" the Professor of Infectious Diseases said.
According to Professor Geddes the increase of global temprature will spread parasitic diseases such as malaria and dengue with an added speed. With the increase of the daytime temperatures the reproductive speeds of insects and parasites could double this could help an outbreak develop into an epidemic.
The depletion of the ozone layer is another threat to human health and the ultra violet rays act as immunity suppressers.
He further said "The sorry situation is that only a few countries are emitting large amounts of gases which affect the ozone layer but the whole world is facing its consequences."
Biological weapons could lead to a complete distruction to the whole of humanity if the necessary steps are not taken.
"Plague, a disease we consider a thing of the past, would soon be today's reality if world leaders continue to act irresponsibly," Geddes warned.
"Cancer is as common as a cold today, thanks to the nuclear radiation which surrounds us today, nobody is safe from it," he added.
The Professor said " More and more people are moving around polluting the environment, causing the greenhouse effect and depleting of the ozone layer. More countries are taking up to biological warfare increasing the danger!"
He further highlighted the fact that it is the responsibility of each individual to act sensibly and take immediate steps to safeguard the enviorenment.
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