Climate change is poised to increase the spread of dengue fever, which is common in parts of the world with warmer climates like Brazil and India, a new study warns.
Worldwide each year, there are 100 million cases of dengue infections severe enough to cause symptoms, which may include fever, debilitating joint pain and internal bleeding. There are an estimated 10,000 deaths from dengue — also nicknamed breakbone fever — which is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that also spread Zika and chikungunya.
The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Microbiology, found a likelihood for significant expansion of dengue in the southeastern United States, coastal areas of China and Japan, as well as to inland regions of Australia.
Oliver Brady, an assistant professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a co-author on the paper, said that the research predicts more people in the United States will be at risk in coming years.
Globally, the study estimated that more than two billion additional people could be at risk for dengue in 2080 compared with 2015 under a warming scenario roughly representative of the world's current emissions trajectory. That increase largely comes from population growth in areas already at high risk for the disease, as well as the expansion of dengue’s range.
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