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New UN "atlas" links evidence for climate change on spread of disease

The two U.N. agencies for health and weather services have created a new "atlas" of scientific data that they say offers fresh evidence of the links between climate change to outbreaks of meningitis, malaria and other diseases.

The World Health Organization director-general says the manual, which includes maps, tables and graphs, provides a practical guide to "climate-sensitive diseases" that decision-makers and leaders can use as a tool for prevention.

Dr. Margaret Chan told reporters Monday in Geneva that 80 percent of the infectious diseases currently found in humans have come from animals — and the scientific research for managing disease in ecosystems has been "underutilized."

World Meteorological Association Secretary-General Michel Jarraud says the atlas is meant to spread information buried in the agencies' technical documents.