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Drought impacts on children's respiratory health in the Brazilian Amazon

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Drought conditions in Amazonia are associated with increased fire incidence, enhancing aerosol emissions with degradation in air quality. Quantifying the synergic influence of climate and human-driven environmental changes on human health is, therefore, critical for identifying climate change adaptation pathways for this vulnerable region. Here we show a significant increase (1.2%-267%) in hospitalisations for respiratory diseases in children under-five in municipalities highly exposed to drought. Aerosol was the primary driver of hospitalisations in drought affected municipalities during 2005, while human development conditions mitigated the impacts in 2010. Our results demonstrated that drought events deteriorated children's respiratory health particularly during 2005 when the drought was more geographically concentrated. This indicates that if governments act on curbing fire usage and effectively plan public health provision, as a climate change adaptation procedure, health quality would improve and public expenditure for treatment would decrease in the region during future drought events.
TidsskriftScientific Reports
StatusUdgivet - 16 jan. 2014

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