Lyme disease predicted to rise in United States as climate warms


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 31 October 2018

CLIMATE, HEALTH, LYME’S, & TICKS

RED ALERT
20% Higher in 30 Years

Lyme disease predicted to rise in United States as climate warms,
Carnegie Mellon University, October 31, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

LYME DISEASE
“...its incidence has risen sharply in the last decade. Since its progression depends on environmental factors, increases in daily temperatures, a manifestation of climate change, might be contributing to a rise in the number of ticks as well as a greater availability of hosts.”

Already Exploding
“The number of reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States rose from 10,000 in 1991 to about 28,000 annually in the past five years.”

Tick Distribution Mirrors Temp & Humidity
“...ticks spend most of their life cycle outside the host in an environment where temperature and humidity directly affect their development, activity, survival, and host-seeking behavior. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency uses the number of cases of Lyme disease as an indicator of climate change.”

RED ALERT

Bigger Explosion Coming
"A sizable increase in the incidence of cases of Lyme disease in the United States due to climate change is imminent."

+20% by 2050
“The study found that rising temperatures are expected to boost the number of cases of Lyme disease by more than 20 percent by mid-century. ”

"Our findings should alert clinicians, public health professionals, and policymakers, as well as the general public."

The Study
“...examined the effect of climatic variables on frequency of the disease in 15 U.S. states with the highest incidence of Lyme disease; these 15 states, which are primarily in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, contribute to 95 percent of reported cases. In those states, researchers studied 568 counties, using annual epidemiological data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2000 to 2016; they also looked at meteorological data (temperature and precipitation) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

Grim Results
“Assuming that the temperature will rise 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by mid-century...the study predicts that the number of cases of Lyme disease in the United States will increase about 21 percent by mid-century. This means 8.6 more cases of Lyme disease per 100,000 people annually.”

 

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lyme disease projected to rise 20% with rising temperatures

 

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