The vast majority of scientists from around the world agree that climate change is very real and it is already happening. People across the globe living in a variety of environments have already seen drastic changes in their weather patterns, and there is no doubt that the ice caps are melting at an accelerated rate. But is the changing climate also to blame for the rise in mosquito borne diseases that are affecting so many people? Continue reading for more information on this important topic.
The Simple Answer: Yes
The short answer is that, yes, climate change is to blame for the rise in mosquito borne diseases around the world. Greenhouse gas emissions are the particular form of pollution that is not helping the situation.
Thanks to human-induced climate change, there will be an increased risk of developing an infection from a mosquito. Infections include dengue fever, West Nile, and malaria, and they will be able to spread more easily and more quickly because of the increase in mosquito-friendly habitats that climate change is creating.
How Temperature Affects Mosquito Populations
When temperatures increase, as they have been for many years as a result of climate change, there is also a boost in immature mosquito development, mosquito biting rates, and virus development. More mosquitoes translate to more humans being bitten and more viruses being spread, so everyone needs to be on the alert. As an example, there were a record number of West Nile infections just in the continental United States in 2012.
What You Can Do
Researchers are currently working very hard to develop effective vaccines that will work against the diseases that can be spread through mosquito bites. In the meantime, you need to minimize your odds of getting bitten in the first place. And because of climate change and the rise in mosquito borne diseases, everyone needs to take extra precautions to prevent the spread of infections by doing their part.
Make sure that your backyard does not have any standing water, and apply mosquito repellents or wear long sleeves and long pants when you are heading out to enjoy the great outdoors. Whenever you have doors and windows open throughout your home, make sure the screens are in place to keep the bugs out. And do your part to reduce your carbon footprint by leading an eco-friendly lifestyle every day in an effort to reduce the progression of global warming.