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Vector-borne diseases


  • The transmission cycles of vector-borne diseases are sensitive to climatic factors, but disease risks are also affected by factors such as land use, vector control, human behaviour, population movements and public health capacities.
  • Climate change is regarded as the principal factor behind the observed move of the tick species Ixodes ricinus — the vector of Lyme borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis in Europe — to higher latitudes and altitudes. Climate change is projected to lead to further northwards and upwards shifts in the distribution of Ixodes ricinus.
  • It is generally suspected that climate change has played (and will continue to play) a role in the expansion of other disease vectors, notably the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which can disseminate several diseases including dengue, chikungunya and Zika, and Phlebotomus species of sandflies, which transmit leishmaniasis.
  • The unprecedented upsurge in the number of human West Nile fever infections in the summer of 2010 in south-eastern Europe was preceded by extreme hot spells in this region. High temperature anomalies in July were identified as contributing factors to the recurrent outbreaks in the subsequent years.

Reference information


Published in Climate ADAPT Jun 07 2016   -   Last Modified in Climate ADAPT Mar 04 2020

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