From the point of view of infectiologists, infectious diseases will increase significantly in the coming decades due to the climate crisis alone. It is to be expected that 50 to 60 percent of the relevant infectious diseases will become more frequent as a result of the warming, said infectiologist Christoph Lübbert at the 16th Congress for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine (KIT) on Thursday in Leipzig.
These include diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. According to Lübbert, it could also happen that certain bacterial infectious diseases become more common as a result of the warming of the oceans. The Baltic Sea, for example, is affected by this. In addition, the number of infectious diseases will increase with an aging population. Infectious diseases are already frequent diagnoses in German hospitals: In around 20 percent of all cases of treatment in clinics, infections are the main or secondary diagnosis.
Accordingly, well-trained doctors with special infectious disease expertise are urgently needed. Lübbert emphasizes that, according to a needs analysis, 1,000 of these doctors or at least 500 specialist graduates with at least three years of training are needed in order to be able to treat complex infections at the highest level in the future.
The head of the infectiology department at Gießen University Hospital, Susanne Herold, added: "Patients with severe infections have a much more favorable course of the disease and die less often if infectiologists are involved in the treatment." Nevertheless, there are currently no departments with an infectious focus, even in many large clinics. The task is to implement the training for infectiologists decided on at the German Medical Association in 2021 in the individual federal states. The majority of state medical associations have already done so.