Scientists in Florida have found traces of rat lungworm in five counties, bolstering the idea that this potentially fatal parasite may be expanding its geographical range on account of—you guessed it—climate change. If this sounds familiar, you’re probably thinking of the recent rash of rat lungworm infections in Hawaii. Previously, over the past 20 years, only
The parasite that causes rat lungworm disease is now endemic in the southeastern United States, and it’s expected to spread northward. There is a long, grim history of infectious diseases crisscrossing the globe aboard giant ships. Explorers looking to set up new colonies carried smallpox, measles, and other deadly viruses with them to distant lands.