With warming temperatures extending the northward range of tropical organisms, World Health Organization experts have also been forecasting the spread of disease such as mosquito-borne dengue fever, saying that some 2.5 billion people are currently at risk.
This severely painful disease is characterized by high fever, headaches and muscle and joint pains, and can be fatal. There is currently no vaccination or effective treatment that offers a cure.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health has reported a 48% increase in dengue cases this year, which now total nearly 41,000, with 328 fatalities. Cases now exceed 35,000 in Sri Lanka, and the government has warned that the entire population could become affected.
In Thailand, 45,000 people have been diagnosed, with 43 fatalities, leading the government to recommend that youth avoid black leggings, stating the mosquitoes carrying dengue are more attracted to dark clothing. The incidence in Yemen is currently so high that it is being called an epidemic, with the disease having spread to 100,000 people, causing over 200 deaths.
And with some 60,000 confirmed illnesses on the small French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, the epidemic there now affects around 4000 persons per week on each island.
Meanwhile, scientists such as Dr. Franco G. Teves in the Philippines are evaluating whether the actual life cycle of the dengue-carrying mosquito is changing as temperatures continue to rise.
He stated, "We are trying to substantiate whether temperature increase hastens the completion of the mosquito’s life cycle, leading to a … population explosion."
Our appreciation, Dr. Teves, World Health Organization and scientists around the world for these findings that raise the alert to the accelerating risk of dengue fever.
We are deeply saddened to know of the suffering endured by so many and pray that everyone quickly joins in planet-cooling actions to reverse climate change and protect all lives.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has often reminded of acting preventively to address the imbalances of global warming, as in the following March 2009 videoconference in California, USA.