Climate Change Causes Lyme Disease April 13, 2012 : 4:12 PM

A warmer climate is contributing to the spread of Lyme Disease:

“A quarter of all Lyme disease cases are among children. At highest risk: kids ages 5 to 14, who are more likely to play outdoors and close to the ground, where ticks are ready to pounce. Darren recently launched an online chat room catering to this group. Every Friday night at 8 p.m. Central, he now talks online with nearly a dozen newfriends who log on from as far away as Kentucky and Australia, all living with Lyme.”

“Overall numbers are on the rise, too. From 2005 to 2010, the number of Wisconsinites contracting Lyme each year jumped from 26 to 44 of every 100,000 people. Around 15,000 casesnationwide were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the mid-1990s. That number is now 30,000 to 40,000, although the CDC admits it could be as much as 12 times higher.”

“Lyme is just one of a lengthening list of emerging infectious diseases that are soaring in North America. Experts say that increasing temperatures and altered precipitationpatterns that accompany climate change are already playing at least a partial role in the spread and intensity of zoonoses -- infectious agents that begin in animals and account for an estimated 75 percent of all newly emerging diseases. Cases of West Nile virus reported to the CDC, for example, rose from 21 in 2000 -- a year after its arrival in New York City -- to more than 1,000 in 2010.”

“Like Lyme disease, most zoonoses require an intermediary tick, mosquito or other insect to transfer the virus or bacterium from an animal to a human. Because insects are cold-blooded, they are highly sensitive to outside conditions: A few degrees or inches ofrain can significantly enhance their ability to survive, reproduce and effectively pass on a parasite.”

Source Huffington Post