Climate Change
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Vector-Borne Disease and Climate Change

Vector-borne diseases (VBD) are infectious diseases that are transmitted to humans by animals, also called "vectors", such as mosquitoes, ticks, and rodents. Climate change can cause vectors or the diseases they carry to spread more rapidly and to new areas, putting people at risk.

How does climate change affect vector-borne disease?

Changes in temperature and humidity can affect where vectors live, and may affect the life-cycles of the pathogens they carry. For example:

A changing climate will allow vectors to exist where they previously did not.

How do vector-borne diseases impact health?

Climate change may make the environment more favorable for Human Hantavirus Cardiopulmonary Syndrome (HCPS), Lyme disease, and West Nile Virus (WNV). This may place humans at greater risk for these diseases. For example:

The need for vector management may also cause indirect health effects. Pesticides may be used in response to disease vectors. Human exposures to pesticides may cause a wide variety of health effects, depending on the pesticide used and the amount of exposure.

Resources on climate change and vector-borne diseases