Expect Drastic Increase In Dengue Driven By Climate Change

Researchers predict that rising temperatures will have a “devastating” impact on Asia-Pacific countries struggling with dengue.

AsianScientist (Nov. 17, 2014) – Climate change will spur a surge in the number of people contracting the deadly tropical disease dengue fever, according to research published in PLoS One and Environmental International.

Dr. Shahera Banu and colleagues from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT)’s Faculty of Health, investigated the impact of climate change on transmission of the mosquito-borne disease and found there would be “devastating” consequences.

Dr. Banu analysed high-risk areas for dengue fever transmission in the Asia-Pacific region, with particular focus on Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh and a megacity of 11.8 million people.
Using modelling from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which predicts an annual average temperature rise for the South Asia region of 3.3 degrees by 2100, the research found there would be a swell of dengue cases.

“Without any changes in the socio-economic situation, by the end of this century there will be a projected annual increase of 16,030 cases in Dhaka,” Dr. Banu said.

“The consequence of this will be devastating.”

The research collected the monthly number of dengue cases in Dhaka from January 2000 to December 2010 and estimated 377 cases attributable to temperature variation in 2010. The warmer temperatures and humidity would provide optimal conditions for mosquitos to thrive, Dr. Banu said.

“Assuming a 1 degree temperature increase in 2100, we project an increase of 583 cases, for 2 degrees it would be 2,782 but it is at 3.3 degrees, a rise the IPCC has projected, that will have an overwhelming impact,” Dr. Banu said.

“Our results show that the monthly temperature and humidity were significantly associated with the monthly dengue incidence in Dhaka. These results are consistent with findings of other studies and may assist to forecast dengue outbreaks in different regions.”

Dr. Banu said places with similar weather conditions to Dhaka would also likely be at risk from a climate change-driven increase in dengue cases.

“We’re hopeful this research will be helpful for improving surveillance of dengue fever and control through effective management and community education programs in Bangladesh and other countries in a similar situation,” she said.

The articles can be found at:
Banu et al. (2014) Dynamic Spatiotemporal Trends of Dengue Transmission in the Asia-Pacific Region, 1955–2004.
Banu et al. (2014) Projecting the Impact of Climate Change on Dengue Transmission in Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Source: Queensland University of Technology.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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