The terrifying link between climate change and infectious disease, in one chart

CDC report Illnesses from mosquito tick flea bites more than tripled from 2004-2016

The most common infection transmitted by ticks in the Northern hemisphere is Lyme borreliosis, also known as the disease of lime (Lima).

In 2004, the agency recorded more than 27,000 vector-borne disease cases.

Overall, the researchers tallied a little more than 642,600 cases of disease transmitted by insect bites between 2004 and 2016.

In reality, the situation is even worse, says the head of the research group Lyle Peterson, because not all after insect bites apply to the doctors, and in addition, there are unrecognised cases. In the USA, the most common vector-borne pathogens are transmitted by ticks or mosquitoes.

The deer tick can carry Lyme disease, the debilitating disease makes up more than 80 percent of all tick-borne cases. West Nile, dengue, and Zika accounted for the most mosquito-borne infections.

Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, added that people also need to protect themselves from mosquito and tick bites in the first place. These include Zika, which is spread by mosquitoes and tied to an increased risk of serious birth defects in babies born to infected women. Nine new germs spread by mosquitoes and ticks were discovered or introduced into the United States during this time.

"Climate change certainly has to be treated as a realistic possibility", he says.




One of the risk factors, the report states, is commerce and travel moving insects and infected people around the world.

In these ways, climate change may have a greater effect on vector-borne disease in the future, as it continues to progress-but likely in complex ways that interact with a variety of other factors, including human behavior and other environmental conditions.

"We don't see that tick frequently, but we're starting to see it more and that's evidence of an expanding range for that particular species".

In 2016 alone, there were more than 96,000 cases reported.

Chronic Lyme disease - or persistent Lyme disease that doesn't respond to antibiotic therapy - can result in long-term problems like fatigue, joint pain, arthritis, Bell's palsy, numbness and heart issues.

"It's something we're certainly concerned with and we're aware of, but there's no simple answer to the question", Rosenberg said. The report says that of all the infections, those transmitted by ticks were most common (75 percent).

"We went from zero to thousands of cases a year of West Nile Virus", Dr. Gaines with the Virginia Department of Health said. The only vector-bornedisease for which there is a vaccine is yellow fever, of which there was just one case in the entire study period in 2016.

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