An army of deer ticks carrying Lyme disease is advancing. It will only get worse.

Across the United States, tick- and mosquito-borne diseases, some potentially lethal, are emerging in places and volumes not previously seen. Climate change almost certainly is to blame, according to a 2016 report by 13 federal agencies that warned of intensifying heat, storms, air pollution and infectious diseases.

Last year, a coalition of 24 academic and government groups tracked climate-related health hazards worldwide. It found them “far worse than previously understood,” jeopardizing half a century of public-health gains.

Climate’s role in intensifying diseases carried by “vectors” — organisms transmitting pathogens and parasites — isn’t as obvious as in heat-related conditions or pollen allergies. But it poses a grave threat. Of all infectious diseases, those caused by bites from ticks, mosquitoes and other cold-blooded insects are most climate-sensitive, scientists say. Even slight shifts in temperatures can alter their distribution patterns.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a tripling of the number of disease cases resulting from mosquito, tick and flea bites nationally over 13 years — from 27,388 cases in 2004 to 96,075 in 2016. Cases of tick-related illnesses doubled in this period, accounting for 77 percent of all vector-borne diseases.

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