Climate Change and Your Health: The 2016 White House Report

Climate change has an impact on the general health of the U.S. population. Uncover what the 2016 White House Report on Climate Change says to do about controlling and preventing potential threats of disease.

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The White House released a report Monday that discussed the potential impact of climate change on diseases spread by vectors like mosquitoes, ticks and fleas, amid a larger discussion of possible risks from changes in temperature, air quality, extreme weather and other factors.

The report cautioned that it couldn’t predict climate change’s impact on the spread of vector-borne diseases — diseases spread by vectors like mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, birds and other carriers — but said changing weather patterns may allow vectors to spread geographically or to be active for longer periods of time.

Report’s Suggested Impacts on Climate Change and Vector-Borne Diseases

  • Climate change and the associated shifts in weather patterns and increases in extreme weather may contribute to changes in the distribution of vector-borne diseases.
  • The ticks capable of spreading Lyme disease could be active for longer periods of time and in more places.
  • Extended spring and summer seasons could increase the risk of bites from mosquitoes that can carry diseases like dengue or West Nile virus.
  • People concerned about vector-borne diseases can take preventative measures – think vector-control programs, using air conditioning, putting screens in windows, using bug repellents and wearing protective clothing.

Read the full White House report on your Web browser. Learn more by reading the vector-borne disease section.