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Climate Change and Emerging Viral Diseases: the Evidence

Research output: Working paper

Publication date29/10/2020
PublisherOSF Preprints
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Three decades have now passed since the first papers linking climate change to issues in human disease and healthcare. One of the most active topics in this area has been the implication of climate change events, particularly temperature and humidity fluctuations, in the northward spread of vector-borne viruses from more tropical regions into Europe and North America. However, some detailed studies of one such emerging disease, tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEv), have called the connection into question, concentrating the debate on the investigation of precise mechanisms for the spread of viral disease. More recently, firmer statistical correlations have been made between climate variables, the presence of insect vectors and the prevalence of viral disease, particularly for West Nile Virus (WNV). These insights suggest avenues for mechanistic confirmation of the involvement of climate change in other diseases where the connection remains conjectural.