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Climate change is changing where and when vector-borne diseases occur. In the eastern United States, this is most apparent in the northward spread of Lyme disease, carried by the deer ticks, or Ixodes scapularis. Tick season is also anticipated to start earlier in the spring and last longer into the fall. Warmer temperatures may also increase the range of Aedes mosquitos, thus allowing for the spread of diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and Zika in parts of the United States that have not traditionally had these diseases. Beyond this, climate change has increased the frequency of heavy rains in the United States, which may increase pathogen load in municipal drinking water systems and lead to outbreaks in waterborne diseases, such as acute gastroenteritis in children. Other climate-sensitive waterborne pathogens include: Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Giardia, hepatitis A, Salmonella, and Shigella. Sources for this information can be found on our Further Reading page under Infectious Diseases.
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