Infectious diseases and climate change

Infectious diseases, pathogens (living things that cause disease) and vectors (living things that spread disease) are sensitive to changes in the environment and climate. Environments are likely to become more suitable for climate-driven infectious diseases as:

These changes may allow certain pathogens or vectors to:

This puts you at greater risk of being exposed to new and established diseases that can affect your health and well-being.

Some of the growing risks of climate-driven diseases and infections are:

They may be spread by:

The spread of disease and human exposure is also influenced by:

Adapting to climate change is about changing our behaviours to avoid harm. Behaviour changes that will help reduce the spread of infectious diseases can include:

We are gathering information about the links between climate change and human health, and creating strategies to prevent and adapt to threats. The Infectious Disease and Climate Change (IDCC) Program addresses the impact of climate change on human health in Canada.

As part of the program, we launched the Infectious Disease and Climate Change Fund in 2017. The fund focuses on monitoring and surveillance, and education and awareness.

The IDCC program and fund also helps, in part, the Federal Framework on Lyme Disease and Action Plan by supporting projects that:

Helpful information

Learn more about Lyme disease and West Nile virus.

The Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Knowledge to Action report also includes important information about:

Climate Change and Infectious Diseases: The Challenges

Climate Change and Infectious Diseases: The Solutions

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