Climate Change’s Bite: Why Insect-Borne Diseases Are Spreading

Homeowner Sohail Soomro dumps debris on his front yard in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Katy, Texas, Sept. 7, 2017 (AP photo by Matt Rourke).
Homeowner Sohail Soomro dumps debris on his front yard in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Katy, Texas, Sept. 7, 2017 (AP photo by Matt Rourke).
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Devastating hurricanes and fires in the United States and the Caribbean since August have demonstrated yet again that extreme weather exacerbated by climate change has created new risks. The suffering and damage caused by this extreme weather has, in turn, created additional new dangers to public health. One of the more worrisome is the spread of disease, especially “vector-borne” diseases. These are diseases transmitted to humans through insect bites, most commonly by mosquitoes, ticks and flies. They include Zika, Lyme, Chikungunya and malaria. In 2015, malaria alone infected over 200 million people and caused about 438,000 deaths worldwide. According to […]

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