HS415 Unit 9 Assignment

Unit 9 Assignment

Purdue University Global

HS415 Environmental Health

Unit 9 Assignment

A vector is defined by the World Health Organization as “a living organism that can transmit infectious diseases between humans or from animals to humans.” All over the world, vector borne diseases are cause of serious problems. They account of 17% of all infectious diseases in the world and cause around 700,000 deaths every year (WHO, 2017). An example of these diseases are the well-known Malaria, and others such as West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever. Though these are a public health issue on their own, when incorporating how climate change is effecting the earth, these diseases become much more important.

The first key finding that was pointed out by Beard is that climate change is expected to alter the geographical and seasonal distributions of existing vectors and the diseases they carry. Climate change can include changing weather patterns and temperatures in certain locations and it is likely that these changes will lead to outbreaks of disease as vector population size increases and spreads. In 2004 there was 19,804 cases of Lyme disease in the United States that were reported to the CDC, in 2013 there were 38,468 cases. That is a difference of 30,495 people, which is a huge change, and largely due to climate change within those nine years. Another key finding by Beard is that a combination of rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and a higher frequency of some extreme weather events will influence the distribution, abundance, and prevalence of infection in the mosquitos that transmit these diseases by altering habitat availability and mosquito reproduction rates.

Both state and federal agencies need to prepare and prevent climate change and this problems it brings. By reducing plastic waste, emissions, and other energy usage we can help slow climate change and global warning. They can also have measure to prevent the spread of vector borne pathogens, such as educating the public around the world on proper mosquito repellants and how the spread of infection occurs. Organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are both actively tackling this issue as we speak. In regards to the future, it is imperative that the public is educated on these topics. Climate change effects much more than people realize and even the small changes in one person’s life can largely effect the world. If we band together as a people and educate those that need it we can tackle both climate change and the spread of vector born infections.


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Ogden, and P.J. Schramm, 2016: Ch. 5: Vectorborne Diseases. The Impacts of Climate

Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment. U.S. Global

Change Research Program, Washington, DC, 129–156.


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