Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Climate Change Week Saturday Bite Fever
08 December 2014

Saturday Bite Fever

Dengue fever is a disease of truly epic proportions. More than one in three of the world's population is at risk from the mosquito-born sickness, which doles out fever, muscle pain and death to 50 million people a year. Weather can have a big effect on dengue's spread as changes in say, temperature or rainfall can help or hinder the mosquitoes that carry it from victim to victim. In Mexico (pictured), a computer model suggests that cases could grow by over a third as the climate warms to more insect-friendly temperatures. But it also highlights how economic development could be the country's greatest enemy for fighting the disease. As access to piped water increases, so do dengue rates, as people then create personal reservoirs that provide perfect breeding grounds for water-loving mosquitoes. A neat illustration of the multi-faceted dilemma country's face when trying to control disease in the 21st century.

Written by Jan Piotrowski

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