By Tim Wall, Discovery Channel
If wildfires, droughts, scorching heat and devastating storms aren’t enough to have you listening for the hoof beats of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, then consider the resurgence in diseases humans once thought they had beat.
1. Gonorrhea – No one applauds the clap, but the disease seems to be coming back for an encore. The Centers for Disease Control recently warned that there is now only one drug, ceftriaxone, which is effective as a first treatment for the sexually transmitted gonorrhea, reported Fox News.
2. Ebola – The intestine-dissolving disease featured in the movies Outbreak and The Hot Zone struck Uganda in July. So far, 16 have died, but the World Health Organization claims the disease is now under control, reported Voice of America.
3. Bubonic Plague – The disease which decimated the world’s population during the Middle Ages is still around. New Mexico is a stronghold of the disease. In July an Albuquerque man was diagnosed with the disease after he disposed of a dead squirrel, reported KRQE.
4. Black Lung Disease – Inhaling coal dust can lead to the deadly disease pneumoconiosis, known as black lung disease. It was once hoped that safety devices and filters would save miner’s lungs, but an investigation by National Public Radio and the Center for Public Integrity found that not only are the number of cases on the rise, but younger miners are being struck down by a faster progression of the disease.
5. Malaria – Inhaling coal can kill you, but burning it threatens your life in a more indirect way. As greenhouse gases warm the planet, research warns that the mosquitoes may be able to spread malaria further and more easily. In the past, malaria affected North America as far north as Canada. Eradication programs largely wiped the disease out in the United States, but a warmer, wetter climate means more mosquitoes, making it harder to control them.
Next: what else is on the rise?