Rising temperatures are helping ticks and their hosts carry a deadly bacterium to new regions.
In a June 15, 2018 article by Lucy Goodchild Van Hilten discusses the connection between climate change and the spread of Lyme disease and other vector-borne diseases with Dr. Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist of the Geos Institute.
“Climate change is not an environmental problem,” he said. “It’s human health, economic impact, social dislocation and social injustice, with environment thrown in there too. This is the multiplicity of impacts we’re at the beginning phase of seeing, even before we hit the 2˚C change, which is on the horizon.
Read the full article at Alternet.org
Go to Yale Climate Connections to listen to commentary by Dominick DellaSala on how his daughter contracted Lyme disease from ticks, which may be spreading because of climate change.
Yale Climate Connections consists of 90-second stories about how people are responding to our warming world.
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.
In a recent Jefferson Public Radio interview, Dr. Dominick DellaSala (co-editor of The Ecological Importance of Mixed- Severity Fires and editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene) discusses how climate change aids the spread of Lyme disease.
In the interview, he states that the animals that normally carry ticks (deer, mice, etc.) are surviving through the warmer winters coupled by the lack of top predators. He goes on to say with the warmer weather, the ticks could start making way to more northern parts of the world like Canada and Scandinavia thus putting more people at risk to the disease.
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.