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  • 11 Jul 2014

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Warning: rising temperatures could lead to greater health problems

Multnomah County needs to prepare for new public health risks brought by climate change, according to a 26-page report issued Oct. 9.

A warming climate will cause more punishing summer heat waves, increased ozone and diesel particulates in the air, and greater infestations of mosquitos and ticks, county health analysts warn.

Those problems can lead to more deaths from heat stroke, more asthma and other respiratory diseases and air-borne diseases from insect bites, among other complications.

The report, entitled Climate Change and Public Health Preparation, describes vulnerable populations and recommends strategies to alleviate health concerns.

Oregon’s temperature has risen 1.5 degrees Farhenheit over the last century, but steeper increases are now projected.

As the climate warms, Portland is experiencing more severe heat waves, which, combined with the urban heat island affect, could make senior citizens more vulnerable.