Tag Archives: Lyme disease and climate change

the avril lavigne foundation_GLA_abu dhabi

The Avril Lavigne Foundation and GLA Discuss Tick-Borne Disease at Global Health Forum

Real change happens when we work together. This is especially true when it comes to advancing the Lyme disease and tick-borne illness agenda, be it through research, awareness, funding, or patient support.

At Global Lyme Alliance (GLA) we are eternally grateful for the tireless work of our board member Avril Lavigne and our amazing partners in The Avril Lavigne Foundation. The Avril Lavigne Foundation recently invited GLA’s CEO Scott Santarella and Chief Scientific Officer Tim Sellati to join them at the Reaching the Last Mile (RLM) Forum in Abu Dhabi, to discuss and collaborate on the world stage about the risks of tick-borne illness and how we can come together to help patients.

The Avril Lavigne Foundation post from December 10, 2019 …

The biennial Reaching the Last Mile (RLM) Forum, held in Abu Dhabi, convenes global health leaders to share insights and best practices on how to map out, eliminate & eradicate infectious diseases. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this year’s RLM Forum  brought together more than 300 preeminent individuals from government, private sector, philanthropy & academia, to discuss reaching the last mile of disease elimination faster – including The Avril Lavigne Foundation!

We were honored to be invited by The Avril Lavigne Foundation to participate alongside incredible organizations like The Clinton Foundation, The Gates Foundation, Project Hope, The Carter Center, The World Health Organization and to join them in educating global health community about Lyme and other tick-borne/vector-borne diseases. During the Forum, we had the opportunity to hear from a number of prominent global health leaders, exhibit Louvre Abu Dhabi, and participate in a Round Table focused on Climate Change & Global Health (chaired by the esteemed Dr. Anthony Costello). Participants included the UAE’s Ministers of Climate Change and Health, Rt Hon Helen Clark (former Prime Minister of New Zealand), @MalariaNoMore @ChildrensPhila and others. During the Forum Bill Gates  and other philanthropic leaders from around the world pledged over $2.6 BILLION to eradicate Polio. The Forum was collaborative, educational and beyond inspiring.

We are grateful to have been included in this prestigious event.

Here are some highlights …

Reaching the Last Mile Forum 2019 in Abu Dhabi
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New Research Article, “Ticking Bomb” Offers Intriguing and Informative Historical Perspective on Climate Change and Lyme Disease

A study by Igor Dumic and Edson Severnini entitled “Ticking Bomb: The Impact of Climate Change on the Incidence of Lyme Disease” published in Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology describes the relationship between climatic variables and the reported incidence of Lyme disease in 15 northeast and mid-west states that contribute to more than 95% of reported cases within the Unites States.

Researchers merged two types of data to conduct the analysis in this study: annual county-level epidemiological data on Lyme disease cases from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and meteorological data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For the period 2000–2016, researchers focused on 468 U.S. counties from states with a high incidence of Lyme disease cases and found sizable impacts of temperature on the incidence of Lyme disease. According to the authors “Assuming a 2°C increase in annual average temperature…we have predicted that the number of Lyme disease cases in the United States will increase by over 20 percent in the coming decades.”

According to Timothy J. Sellati, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Global Lyme Alliance “The solid foundation for the data presented and interpretation of the results derives from the robust empirical strategy outlined in the study.” Moreover, Sellati says “This is a beautiful ‘hard evidence-based science’ complement to Mary Beth Pfeiffer’s book Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change, which offers an intriguing and informative historical perspective on climate change and its relationship to the increasing incidence of Lyme disease.  Collectively, the findings presented in the published study and Ms. Pfeiffer’s book should improve preparedness and response by clinicians, public health professionals, and policy makers, as well as raise public awareness of the role climate change plays in increasing the risk of vector-borne human infection.

Read the research article here.