Climate change has all kinds of effects on the environment, plants, animals, and humans. Climate change may cause species of plants and animals to shift: where they occur, when they occur, and their numbers. This also affects the risks of infectious diseases that people in our country can contract. This mainly concerns infectious diseases that are transmitted through animals, such as mosquitoes or through (contaminated) water. Examples include Lyme disease, West Nile fever or Legionellosis.

Different factors

But climate is only one of the factors that influence infectious diseases. Other factors also have an impact, such as social, biological and economic factors. For example, climate change is often blamed when there is a new outbreak of a disease. Or when exotic animals come into our country, such as the tiger mosquito. But often other changes play a bigger role.

Tiger mosquito

For example, the fact that there are more tiger mosquitoes in our country is due to more trade and travel to the Mediterranean. It is not because of climate change. The tiger mosquito has firmly established itself in the Mediterranean area, but not yet in the Netherlands. This is due to the eradication policy of the government (The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority). But if the tiger mosquito does establish itself in our country, climate change will play a role. With higher summer temperatures, viruses in mosquitoes multiply more rapidly. The chance of more diseases being transmitted will be greater.