Vector-Borne Disease in a Changing World
Lynn, Mary Katherine
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Vector-borne diseases represent a substantial portion of the global infectious disease burden. In an increasingly globalized world, it is crucial to investigate how disease distributions and disease risk change in response to climate, land use, and human population dynamics. For this project, I have examined two case studies of global vector-borne disease, to explore these issues in different spatial contexts. This study was divided into three chapters, two of which were prepared for peer-review in separate journals, discussed further in this project. The first chapter introduces vector-borne disease and the major environmental and social factors that play a role in the incidence, prevalence, and distribution of these infectious diseases. This chapter also addresses the ways in which scholars in the field investigate the relationship between the environment and human health. Chapter two examines the case study of a secular trend in malaria incidence in Venezuela, focusing on climate events and social factors that contribute to this rise in case numbers. Chapter three reviews the current literature regarding autochthonous Chagas disease in the United States, discussing the lack of awareness of disease risk despite the evidence of suitable environmental and ecological conditions. To conclude this project, I discuss how the fields of environmental studies and public health intersect, and may inform each other for future research and health policy.