As we know from past records and researches that climate is changing from past few decades. When we say it is changes it means temperature extremes, glacial melting, volcanic eruptions, solar radiations and global warming. When we talk about diseases the prevalence and incidence of diseases are also increasing rapidly. Among them vector related diseases are of serious concern. A vector is the carrier involved in a disease. These include mosquitoes as in Malaria and dengue fever. Other vectors include fleas and ticks etc.
An example of vector borne diseases is Lyme disease which is caused by bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi and its animal vector is blacklegged ticks. The spread of disease depends on three factors. One is that climate change is providing habitat to survive off their hosts. Second is the short time of winter and prolonged summers or early increase in temperature for a long time. Third are higher trick densities as temperature favors them. There is another mosquito Culex tarsalis that transmits Vest Nile virus. According to a report North America has a higher rate of vector born diseases. These include Lyme, Dengue Fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Climate change is a global issue. So these diseases are not limited to only one part of the world. An example is the Dengue outbreak in Pakistan, the mosquito of genus Ades is the vector. Temperature, precipitation and humidity play significant role in mosquito survival. First outbreak was documented in United States in 1940. When we look at temperature difference and climatic difference in both countries the climatic conditions in Pakistan cannot support dengue but these are the infected travelers and other factors which transmit these vectors to other countries. There is another important factor that is human behavior towards climate change and disease that is outdoor timings and indoor timings and contact with vectors. Apart from vectors, the alteration of flowering season of plants due to climate change i.e. early flowering and pollens also produces different types of allergens which cause respiratory diseases like asthma.
There should be control through awareness and better health facilities. Climate change is a global issue and everyone is affected. Human activities cause climate change and climate change causes health problems. We are responsible for climate change. We provided vectors their habitat and destroyed ours. So, move toward healthy and sustainable activities and don’t compromise on your life and health.
By: Aisha Muhstaq