Climate change is no longer only an environmental problem. It is a growing public health risk.
Umair Irfan, E&E News reporter
Published: Friday, July 28, 2017
The eight-legged bloodsuckers that spread Lyme disease are crawling farther north and infecting more people due to climate change, scientists report.
Rising average temperatures are making more parts of North America hospitable to the Ixodesticks that carry Lyme disease.
The infection's range is expected to move northward into Canada by 250 to 500 kilometers (155 to 310 miles) by 2050, and the season for the disease may start up to two weeks earlier than it does now. Health officials report similar patterns in Europe.
And human-caused climate change is a major contributing factor, scientists say.
Geos Institute's Chief Scientist Dr. Dominick DellaSala was a guest recently on the Jefferson Exchange, discussing the link between Lyme Disease and climate change. You can listen to his interview here.
Climate change is NOT an environmental problem - new research has increasingly pointed to a link between climate change and the spread of vector-borne diseases like Lyme disease. The decision by the Trump administration to pull out of the Paris climate change accords is only going to increase the spread of diseases associated with a warming planet.
Related article: "How climate change helped Lyme disease invade America" (Vox)
Download the factsheet: Lyme Disease Spreading Due to Climate Change and Human Activities, by Dominick DellaSala, Ph.D.
By Dominick DellaSala
This Earth Day, I am giving thanks for the lingering effects of our cold-wet winter and the beautiful snow-capped mountains. Reservoirs are filling up, fisher-people are casting away in streams with hopes of bountiful catches, and kayakers are bucking the rapids again. We should all enjoy this wet winter that used to be the “norm,” while remembering that we have much work to do to make the climate safe for our children.
I would like to share my family’s story because it concerns all parents, hikers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts in the region.