June 9, 2023

Dubai Week

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Climate change contributes to the spread of dengue and other diseases

Posted: 06/04/2023 (Last Updated: 06/04/2023, Time: 14:47)

GENEVA – Together – The World Health Organization has warned that dengue fever and other diseases caused by mosquito-borne viruses are spreading faster and more widely due to climate change, raising fears of a global pandemic.

World Health Organization experts have warned of rising cases of dengue fever and chikungunya, and said they expect the Zika virus to re-emerge around the world.

All three diseases are transmitted by arthropod viruses (viruses transmitted by arthropods) that are transmitted to humans by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes, known as tiger mosquitoes.

Climate change has played a major role in facilitating the spread of mosquitoes, Raman Velayuthan, coordinator of the World Health Organization’s dengue and virus initiative, said during a press conference. Outbreaks outside historical distribution areas.

Velayuthan urged countries to be “vigilant” in detecting the spread of the disease to “avoid any major outbreak”.
Dengue is endemic in 100 countries, but dengue is a threat in 29 countries. The number of cases has risen in recent years, from nearly half a million in 2000 to 5.2 million in 2019, the worst year yet.

Cases were not properly recorded during the Covid pandemic, but the numbers remained high.

Meanwhile, Chikungunya infections have been reported in 115 countries since its discovery in the 1950s, Rojas-Alvarez said, adding that it is on the rise in the American region. Since January, around 135,000 cases have been reported in the region, compared to 50,000 cases in the first half of 2022.

Of greatest concern may be the geographic expansion of these two diseases from the Americas in the South to the Northern Hemisphere, including some European countries.
“With climate change, mosquitoes have proliferated and the spread of these diseases has expanded … in latitude and longitude,” Rojas-Álvarez said, describing the situation as “dangerous.”
He warned that this strong outbreak in the US “could be a sign of what next summer will look like in the Northern Hemisphere”.

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Both diseases often cause mild symptoms (fever, body aches and rash). Most people infected with chikungunya feel symptoms for only a week, but 40% feel the effects for months or even years.

Rojas warned Alvarez that chikungunya could lead to permanent disability.