Americans should expect a surge in deaths from heat waves, flooding, and respiratory disease as the climate warms, according to a wide-ranging White House report released last month. And what spells disaster for humans could also be a boon to infectious microbes and the animals that transmit them.
The guest on this week’s episode is Ben Beard, associate director for climate change at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He’s one of more than 100 researchers who contributed to the report, and his specialty is vector-borne diseases. These illnesses—which include Lyme disease, dengue fever, and Zika virus—are transmitted by other animals, especially insects such as mosquitos and ticks. Beard talks to Indre about how global warming is poised to alter their spread and whether the changes we’re already seeing can be attributed to climate change.
You can find the table of vector-borne diseases here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/healthreport/Health_Ch00_ExecutiveSummary_PublicDraft_April_7_2015.pdf
Here’s more info about Lyme disease: http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/