Diseases Spread by Insects on the Rise in the US

Warming World Allowing Disease-Carrying Ticks to Thrive Climate Change has allowed Lyme

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Warming World Allowing Disease-Carrying Ticks to Thrive

Climate Change has allowed Lyme Disease to spread to new regions, including the UK and Canada. Ticks are also starting to survive throughout the year, not just in the warmer months. Approximately 476,000 Americans are infected with Lyme Disease every year, making it the most common tick-borne illness. However, other diseases transmitted by the insects, such as Babesiosis, have become more common over the last 10 years. Unfortunately, having a rather warm and mild winter, the tick and mosquito seasons have already been here,” said Dr. Ryan Miller, an infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. “We have had cases of Lyme disease even in the spring, which is a little more unusual, and a few people even in late fall last year. It’s looking like this year, it’s going to be all year-round.”

Full Story: Associated Press, Harvard Health

Mosquitos Carrying West Nile Virus and Malaria Becoming More Common

The US saw the first cases of Malaria in two decades. Eight people in Florida and Texas became infected with the virus after being by bitten mosquitos. Dr. Monica Parise, the director of the CDC’s Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, does not expect malaria to spread widely throughout the country this season. She explains that this year’s outbreaks follow the pattern of being “relatively small and contained.” Nevertheless, scientists say that mosquito populations are growing due to a rapidly warming climate. More frequent and intense heat waves have allowed mosquito populations to flourish. Mosquitoes are also becoming harder to control as they adapt to insecticides. “It’s not a good sign,” said Roxanne Connelly, a medical entomologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We’re losing some of our tools that we normally rely on to control infected mosquitoes.”

Full Story: NBC News