A CBC News Online story examining the connection between climate change and infectious diseases includes the expert insights of Prof. Katie Clow in the Ontario Veterinary College at U of G.
Clow also spoke to several CBC Radio morning shows on the same topic this week.
Animals such as bats, which can carry disease, are staying around longer in the winter and spring due to warmer temperatures. Clow said climate change, together with urbanization and habitat destruction, are creating a closer and “very complex interplay” between people and wildlife.
Climate change, she said, is having a significant influence on the spread of species like the blacklegged tick, which carries Lyme disease. There is clear evidence that a warming climate allows ticks to expand their range, and that influences the spread of the infectious diseases they carry, she said.
Clow is an assistant professor in One Health in the Department of Population Medicine. Her research studies the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases – human illnesses caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria carried primarily by insects. She has a particular interest in ticks.