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The northward spread of infectious disease

Zoonoses are infections or infectious diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites and other organisms that can transfer from animals to humans. Zoonoses are transmitted through a variety of pathways, including direct contact between animals and humans, insect bites, ingesting food and water contaminated with parasites and through the air. A rapidly warming Arctic may cause animal hosts or insect vectors to expand north into previously inhospitable terrain. This will bring them and their pathogens into contact with human populations in the Arctic. The potential spread of climate-sensitive infectious diseases in Arctic ecosystems and societies needs further research. Early warning systems and preventive measures also need to be implemented. Source: D. Porretta et al., Effects of global changes on the climatic niche of the tick Ixodes ricinus inferred by species distribution modelling, Parasites and Vectors, 2013; M. G. Walsh et al., Climatic influence on anthrax suitability in warming northern latitudes, Scientific Reports, Nature, 2018; M. McPherson et al., Expansion of the Lyme Disease Vector Ixodes Scapularis in Canada Inferred from CMIP5 Climate Projections, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2017.

Year: 2019

From collection: Global linkages – a graphic look at the changing Arctic (rev.1)

Cartographer: Philippe Rekacewicz and Nieves Lopez Izquierdo

Tags: Arctic Climate Change vital graphics

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