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Health Implications of Drought: Diseases Transmitted by Insects and Animals

In periods of limited rainfall, both human and animal behavior can change in ways that increase the likelihood of other vectorborne diseases. For instance, during dry periods, wild animals are more likely to seek water in areas where humans live. These behaviors increase the likelihood of human contact with wildlife, the insects they host, and the diseases they carry

Drought reduces the size of water bodies and causes them to become stagnant. This provides additional breeding grounds for certain types of mosquitoes (for example, Culex pipiens). Outbreaks of West Nile virus, which is transmitted to humans via mosquitoes, have occurred under such conditions. Inadequate water supply can cause people to collect rainwater. This can lead to collections of stagnant water that can become manmade mosquito breeding areas.