Australia – Climate Change a Threat to Blood Safety

Climate change could threaten the safety of blood used for life-saving transfusions, Australian experts have warned.

A new report by West Australian researchers has raised concern that rising temperatures will increase the prevalence of viruses, like dengue and Ross River, already circulating in the northern regions of the country.

The heat could potentially increase the range of organisms that can transmit the viruses and make them more infectious more quickly by accelerating life cycles, said Professor Robert Dunstan, a specialist in emerging infectious diseases at Curtin University in Perth.

“These condition are expected to lead to higher levels of virus activity and greater exposure of humans to the viruses,” Prof Dunstan said.

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