As the planet heats up the impact of climate change is going to become more and more obvious to people in very personal ways.  One is described in this article that ran in the Washington Post last week.

Scientists have been predicting and warning for 20 years that infectious diseases that have until this time been restricted to warmer and more tropical climates will begin coming over our southern border.  This has been happening now for some years already.  This article provides some details.  

Of course, we are all seeing what is happening in southern Florida right now with the Zika virus.  

Kinda scary, huh?

 

Climate change extending D.C. mosquito season, raising Zika specter

Monday, August 1, 2016

Climate change is bringing longer summers, and with them, increased risk of vector-borne diseases like the Zika virus.

The Washington, D.C., mosquito season has grown by 29 days since 1980 to 143 days. In Baltimore, the mosquito season has expanded to 152 days since 1980, a 37-day increase, according to a study by Climate Central.

Mosquitoes thrive in hot and humid climates, and 10 cities in the United States have experienced these conditions for a month or more longer than they did in 1980. In few Southern cities, rising extreme heat has started to shrink the mosquito season.

Now the Florida Department of Health has reported that four cases of the Zika virus have been acquired locally instead of hitchhiking on travelers coming from afflicted regions.
The virus causes mild symptoms in the majority of infected people, but it can lead to severe birth defects if a woman contracts it while pregnant.

Other diseases, like dengue and chikungunya, can also take advantage of the longer mosquito seasons (Angela Fritz, Washington Post)

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