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Wed Aug 28, 2019, 07:51 AM

As the climate shifts, Central America confronts a deadly dengue outbreak

Thomson Reuters Foundation
Published on 28 Aug 2019
By Anastasia Moloney

BOGOTA, Aug 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Central America is grappling with its worst outbreak of dengue fever in decades - and scientists say the disease is likely to spread and become more frequent in the future due to climate change.

Worst hit is Honduras where about 109 deaths from the mosquito-borne disease have been recorded, many among children, making this year's dengue fever outbreak the deadliest on record in the Central America nation, the United Nations noted.

“We have seen dengue cases in the Americas double each decade since the 1980s and this year is particularly severe," said Rachel Lowe, a London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine professor who researches the impact of environmental change on infectious diseases.

One thing we have seen from my research is certainly that warmer temperatures and rainfall can increase the risk of dengue outbreaks," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. As climate change strengthens, dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases are expected to expand into new communities living in highland regions."As the temperature warms, mosquitoes can survive at higher altitudes...”


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