Mosquito Borne Diseases:
The Dangerous Link Between Mosquitoes and Global Warming
The rise of many infectious diseases and other threats to human health depends in large part on the local climate. Global warming, the progressive and gradual warming of the earth’s surface temperature, is the most worrisome effect of climate change. Each year, in a number of places across the world, drought and high temperatures negatively affect water supplies and crops. In addition, high temperatures have increased the number of reported illnesses and deaths among humans. The recent outbreaks of West Nile Virus in North America are a preview of how climate change can drastically affect our well-being. Today, scientists and professionals in the medical field are particularly concerned with how climate change will affect the mosquito population and how it will subsequently give potential rise to a variety of dangerous infectious diseases.
Many mosquito borne diseases are sensitive to climate conditions. According to studies, a rise in temperature is one of the most common factors contributing to the increase of mosquito borne diseases. In the case of the West Nile Virus, outbreaks were attributed in large part to a combination of heat and drought followed by heavy rain. Unfortunately, and most alarming is the fact that, according to a panel on climate studies, this weather pattern is likely to occur more frequently with global warming.
It is predicted that global warming will increase the risk of infectious diseases, and most particularly those that are prevalent in warm areas of the world. The spreading of disease will be facilitated by mosquitoes and other insects as warmer temperatures will allow them to propagate in areas further north. What this means is that diseases like malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis, which are common in warm weather countries, will begin to invade countries that previously had no reason to be concerned with such health problems. Taking the West Nile Virus as an example, mosquitoes are not the only carriers of disease but so are birds.
Scientists around the world have been seriously contemplating the effects of global warming on mosquito borne diseases. Because mosquitoes tend to breed faster as temperatures get higher, scientists are attempting to beat the clock. Global warming is a reality today; hopefully, scientists will find a way to eliminate the problem of mosquito borne diseases before a large scale epidemic takes place.
Article written by Anna DeGaborik
Anna DeGaborik is the author for the All Mosquito Netting Info website. She studies insect diseases and prevention, specializing in mosquitoes.