The Impact of Climate Change on Aedes aegypti Behavior in Latin America and the Caribbean

by Shannon O’Neill

Climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has impacted precipitation and temperatures, which have been associated with increases in seasonal outbreaks of dengue fever. However, such correlations are often speculative due to the complexity of interactions involved in vector-borne diseases. Researchers Chadee and Martinez (2015) focused on the adaptive behaviors of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in efforts to fill some of the research gaps typically associated with the research of these diseases. This mosquito is a successful vector for various vector-borne diseases, including dengue fever, Zika virus, and chikungunya, and has shown adaptive behaviors. This research will provide the information to create better vector control strategies that can be applied in order to limit climate change impacts on the resurgence of these diseases. Continue reading

Climate Change as a Public Health Issue

by Shannon O’Neill

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that roughly half of the world’s population is at risk of infection by vector-borne disease. Furthermore, vector-borne diseases are responsible for one-sixth of illness and disability throughout the world, killing at least one million people each year. Vector-borne diseases tend to highlight socioeconomics differences and problems, as they increase health inequalities, with developing countries having a 300 times greater mortality rate from them. These countries do not have the resources for preventative care or to manage outbreaks. Additionally, vector-borne diseases tend to paralyze health systems and substantially decrease tourism. Though some efforts to control vector-borne diseases have been quite successful, these diseases still pose a major threat to the world as re-emergence becomes more likely owing to greater organism drug resistance and other changing environmental factors. Continue reading

Climate Change and vector-borne diseases: What are the implications for public health research and policy?

by Jake Kessler

Vector-Borne diseases continue to burden a large portion of the world with negative health and economic impacts. According to several health specialists (Campbell-Lendrum et al. 2015) from the World Health Organization, there has been a surge in scenario-based modeling when dealing with the way climate change affects vector-borne diseases. However, they argue that the best way to deal with these diseases would be a decreased reliance on scenario based models for disease predictions, and an increase in short-term tactics to deal with “current disease rates and manage short term climate risks, which will, in turn increase resilience to long-term climate change.” Continue reading