Warmer climate contributes to spread of the Zika virus
The Aedes mosquitos that carry the Zika virus and dengue fever are not just perfectly adapted to life in cities, writes Nadia Pontes. They are also being helped along by warming climates which increase their range. It's time to get serious about the health implications of a hotter planet.
Global warming affects the abundance and distribution of disease vectors. As regions that used to be drier and colder start to register higher temperatures and more rain, mosquitoes expand their breeding areas, which increases the number of populations at
The explosion in the number of Latin American cases of microcephaly - a congenital condition associated with maldevelopment of the brain - has become an international emergency due its "strongly suspected"link with the rapidly spreading Zika virus, according to the World Health Organisation(WHO).
The WHO has called for urgency in finding a vaccine and better diagnostics, and has urged the world to be alert.
Researchers of infectious diseases are still trying to understand how Zika in pregnant women causes congenital malformation. "Everyone agrees on the urgent need to coordinate international efforts to investigate and better understand this relationship", said Margaret Chan, the head of the WHO.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito, the species that also transmits the dengue and chinkungunya viruses, is responsible for infecting a growing number of humans with Zika.
Aedes mosquito image via global research.
Read more at ENN Affiliate The Ecologist.