Health Editor’s note: We all know that mosquitos are active in the warmer months. Generally there is a reprieve from the onslaught of mosquitos during the cooler and cold months of the year. With increasing temperatures caused by global warming, we will see more time for mosquitos to be active and thus spread malaria and dengue. While work is being done to cut down on the numbers of mosquitos, the mosquitos are taking advantage of the longer mild temperatures to stay active and reproduce and of course spread diseases they are a vector for …..Carol
By Sharon Udasin/The Hill
About 8.4 billion people — or almost 90 percent of the projected global population — could be exposed to malaria or dengue fever by 2080 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to surge, according to a new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health.
North America is included in that risk area, according to the study, which predicted a potential “northward shift” of both the malaria and dengue-epidemic belts.
Other new malaria-prone regions in that scenario could include northern Asia and central-northern Europe — the latter of which could also be at risk for dengue, the study said.
Socioeconomic factors like housing quality, plumbing and air conditioning have “meant that dengue poses less of a burden in the U.S. than in other regions with comparable climates,” Erin Mordecai, an assistant professor at Stanford, told The Hill’s Equilibrium.
However, she stressed that “there’s always the possibility for dengue transmission with the vectors present and increasingly warm, suitable climates.”
If emissions continue to rise at today’s rates, resultant temperature increases could extend transmission seasons by more than a month for malaria and four months for dengue in the next 50 years, researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) determined in the Lancet study.