This issue brief provides an overview of the health impacts of climate change in the U.S. state of Virginia. The brief includes a discussion of heat, coastal flooding, water- and food-borne illnesses, air quality, and vector-borne diseases.
Climate change is altering seasonal patterns, making our summers hotter, and fueling increased flooding from coastal storms. As a result, we face more heat-related illnesses, air quality issues, food and water contamination, traumatic injuries, threats to our mental health, and infectious diseases. These threats will only get worse as big polluters continue to pump carbon from coal, oil, and natural gas into the air. The good news is that we can protect ourselves from these impacts by moving to cleaner energy strategies and preparing more effectively for future disasters.