these diseases favored by climate change

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Written by Doug Hampton

WHO fears global outbreaks of disease caused by these mosquito-borne viruses.

With climate change, dengue fever, chikungunya or zika tend to spread faster and further, WHO warned on April 5.

It is by the tiger mosquito that they are transmitted, and experts from the World Health Organization are concerned about the increase in cases of dengue fever and chikungunya, and indicate that they expect new epidemics of Zika.

Countries must “be on the alert”

Raman Velayudhan, coordinator of the WHO dengue and arbovirus initiative, summarized in a press conference:

Climate change has played a key role in facilitating the spread of mosquito vectors.

It calls for rapid action to curb the spread of mosquitoes, given the risk of outbreaks beyond historical transmission areas. Raman Velayudhan called on countries to“to be on the alert” to detect the spread of diseases and thus “avoid any major epidemic”.

Dengue, endemic in 100 countries

While dengue fever is endemic in around 100 countries, 29 others are under threat. And Mr. Velayudhan recalls that the number of cases is increasing exponentially, from 500,000 in 2000 to more than 5 million in 2019.

At the same time, chikungunya, which is reported in 115 countries, is experiencing an impressive increase in the region of the Americas. In terms of cases and for this region of the globe alone, 135,000 cases observed since January compared to 50,000 during the first half of 2022.

An ever-widening territory for mosquitoes

Diana Rojas Alvarez, in charge of the fight against chikungunya and zika, is worried about the geographical expansion of the two diseases, towards the south of the Americas region and in the northern hemisphere, some European countries included.

She advances:

With climate change, mosquitoes and these diseases have multiplied… in altitude and latitude.

According to her, the situation is “alarming” and this strong transmission in the Americas”could be an anticipation of what the next summer season could be in the northern hemisphere“.

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