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The Impact of Climate Change on Emergence and Re-emergence of Vector-borne Human Diseases

Suketu Dave, Pratibha Dave, Mahendra Pal.

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Climate change is happening with greater speed, and intensity in the world, than it was initially predicted. Climate change refers to any significant changes in climate through, temperature, precipitation, wind, etc., for an extended period, as a result of the natural processes, such as sun’s intensity, ocean circulation, and human activities causing changes in the atmosphere’s composition through burning fossil fuels and deforestation. Climate change has a significant impact on human and animal health with regard to certain infectious diseases mainly transmitted through arthropod vectors. Climate change may affect disease by increasing the transmission cycles of vectors, and some regions, it may result in establishment of new diseases. The basic transmission cycle involves arthropod-animal host amplification, with humans acting as a dead-end host. Nearly half of the world’s population is infected by vector borne diseases, resulting in high mortality and morbidity. The important vector borne diseases affected by climate change include Chickengunya fever, dengue fever, dirofilariasis, Japanese encephalitis, leishmaniasis, malaria, plague, Rift Valley fever, tickborne diseases, trypanosomiasis, and West Nile fever, Over the next decades, it is predicted that billions of people in the world, particularly those in developing countries, will face the shortage of water and food, and greater risks to health, and life due to the climate change. Hence, continued interdisciplinary research is needed to understand the association between climate, weather, and infectious diseases. Predictive modeling should be developed to forecast the impact of climate change on the emergence of diseases, which affect the health of humans and animals. Additional studies should be conducted on disease dynamics, and how they may adapt to a changing climate.

Key words: Animals, Arthropod vectors, Climate change, Humans, Infectious diseases

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