Warmer climate may cut dengue spread, says study

Sydney, Aug 11 (IANS) A new study has revealed that the transmission of dengue is likely to decrease in a warmer climate, countering previous projections that climate change would cause the potentially lethal virus to spread more easily.

Dengue is the world’s most prevalent mosquito-borne disease, with more than 200 million people each year becoming infected.

The results of the study indicated that dengue epidemic potential may come down in conditions of climate warming as mosquito breeding sites become drier and mosquito survival declines.

Dengue epidemiology is determined by a complex interplay between climatic, human host, and pathogen factors, the researchers said.

“While climate change generally poses a major threat to humanity, it also may reduce the incidence of dengue in some areas,” said David Harley, Associate Professor at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia.

Previous studies have suggested that climate change will increase transmission of mosquito-borne diseases globally.

“There is significant concern in countries on the margin of the tropical areas where dengue is mainly found that with global warming dengue and other mosquito-borne viruses such as Zika will encroach and become common,” Harley said.

The findings, published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection, are also relevant to other mosquito-borne viruses, including Zika, because the mosquitoes that carry dengue also transmit the Zika virus.

For the new study, the team used a mechanistic virus transmission model to determine whether climate warming would change dengue transmission in Australia or not.

–IANS

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