Dr. Linda Rudolph is co-director of the Center for Climate Change and Health at the Public Health Institute in Oakland.
On Capital Public Radio's Insight, Rudolph pointed out that the lack of rain can dry out soils. That could increase dust levels, and dust carries pollen.
"[This] increases allergy and asthma. And dust can also carry pathogens. Over the last decade we've seen an increase in Valley Fever, a fungal disease in the Central Valley. That can be increased when dust levels increase and the spores of this disease are carried in the dust."
~Dr. Linda Rudolph, Center for Climate Change and Health
Rudolph says the drought could also trigger other health problems such as an increase in diabetes in some poor, rural communities. She says when drinking water becomes scarce, people turn to other fluids.
"And when those other alternatives are things like soda, it just exacerbates health problems such as obesity," she says.
Rudolph says droughts can also reduce agricultural crop yields leading to significant food price increases.
"And we see the same thing when people have to pay more for food. Low income people often turn to calorie dense food that is associated with more calories, obesity and diabetes," she says.
January 28, 2022
Last year, California saw everything from intense drought to torrential rain. Researchers and water agencies say that the future of the state’s drought depends on adapting to these shifts.
November 11, 2021
As the drought dries up California’s wetlands, traveling birds such as ducks, geese and eagles are struggling to survive and breed. “This drought is bad. The odds are against us,” a state expert said.
June 23, 2021
Drought resilience depends on location but also extraordinary engineering — determining which California places are running out of water this year and which remain in good shape.
June 17, 2021
About 4,300 users were issued notices to halt diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
June 5, 2021
Experts say the current drought is hotter and drier than previous ones, meaning water is evaporating faster.
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