Using Mathematical Models to Better Understand Mosquito-Borne Disease Transmission

Diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and Zika are largely (or entirely!) spread by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes thrive in hot, humid weather. This is why we see more mosquitoes during the warm summer months – hotter weather means more mosquitoes. That should mean more mosquito-borne disease too, right? Not exactly. Recent research is showing that the relationship between temperature and the spread of these diseases is actually more complicated.

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Climate and Vector-Borne Diseases – The Clock is ‘Tick’ing

Bloodsucking, disease-spreading creatures are spreading throughout the United States. This is not a horror movie plot, but a real description of the rapid spread of ticks over the last few years. Thanks largely to warmer winters brought about by climate change, ticks are now common in areas they didn’t exist in just a few years ago. More importantly, many diseases spread by these ticks are now being seen in these areas for the first time. This is a looming public health catastrophe.

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