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Occupational & Environmental Epidemiology

Climate & Health

The North Carolina Climate and Health Program is part of a national public health effort to anticipate and prepare for human health effects related to global and local climate change. The program is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Climate and Health External link program.

Previous funding allowed North Carolina to implement the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) Framework to identify likely climate impacts, potential health effects associated with these impacts and the most vulnerable populations in the state. This funding initiative led to the development of the Climate and Health Profile Report, which determined the health impacts of heat-related illness and wildfire smoke as the greatest concerns in North Carolina.  Other health impacts of climate include air pollution, extreme weather, and water-borne pathogens.

Data from the state syndromic surveillance system revealed high rates of emergency department visits for heat-related illness in the Sandhills region of the state – an 11-county region in Southeastern North Carolina. A further vulnerability assessment identified a 5-county sub region in the Sandhills as highly vulnerability to heat-illness. The next five years will focus on developing and implementing public health interventions to reduce the impact of these heat-related illnesses.

For the health impacts of wildfire smoke, geographical mapping identified the greatest vulnerability in Hoke County, North Carolina, because of high community vulnerability and low adaptive capacity.

Information about heat-related illnesses and injuries and how to prevent them is available on the N.C. DPH Chronic Disease and Injury Section page: Summer Heat Emergency Data and Prevention Tips.

Facts & Figures

For Additional Information