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Wildfires could cause diseases to spread

Joanne Parkinson

20th December 2020

Plumes of smoke from wildfires have now been found to sustain life for microbes and fungi and are therefore likely to be able to spread infectious diseases over wide areas.

Microbes and fungi in the soil are likely to become airborne during a fire and there is already evidence that firefighters are at risk from a fungal infection called coccidioidomycosis, that is released from the soil.

It is now thought that microbes could attach themselves to particulate matter to distribute over a wider area; similarly to what happens during storms; whereby diseases travel over large distances.

For more information on this latest research, check out the following article:

Wildfire smoke may spread infectious disease - BBC News

Joanne Parkinson

An experienced, outstanding Geography teacher, GCSE examiner and Head of Humanities in a 11-18 school. I'm passionate about all geographical events and am a keen blogger.

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