Infectious diseases, urbanization and climate change: Challenges in future China

Michael Xiaoliang Tong, Alana Hansen, Scott Hanson-Easey, Scott Cameron, Jianjun Xiang, Qiyong Liu, Yehuan Sun, Philip Weinstein, Gil Soo Han, Craig Williams, Peng Bi

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


China is one of the largest countries in the world with nearly 20% of the world’s population. There have been significant improvements in economy, education and technology over the last three decades. Due to substantial investments from all levels of government, the public health system in China has been improved since the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak. However, infectious diseases still remain a major population health issue and this may be exacerbated by rapid urbanization and unprecedented impacts of climate change. This commentary aims to explore China’s current capacity to manage infectious diseases which impair population health. It discusses the existing disease surveillance system and underscores the critical importance of strengthening the system. It also explores how the growing migrant population, dramatic changes in the natural landscape following rapid urbanization, and changing climatic conditions can contribute to the emergence and re-emergence of infectious disease. Continuing research on infectious diseases, urbanization and climate change may inform the country’s capacity to deal with emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11025-11036
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 7 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Challenges
  • Climate change
  • Disease control and prevention
  • Disease surveillance
  • Infectious disease
  • Urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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