Rising temperatures and extreme precipitation are being linked to the recent and dramatic rise of the disease, as noted by the World Health Organization, which has stated that 2.5 billion people are currently at risk.
The mosquito-borne virus, which has no effective treatment, produces flu-like symptoms with at least one strain that can be lethal.
Experts are also cautioning of climate change’s aggravating effect, as indicated by Dr. Ted Schettler, science director for the US-based Science and Environmental Health Network.
Dr. Ted Schettler – Science Director, Science & Environment Health Network (M): Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease which is also a tropical and sub-tropical disease but its range seems to be spreading, and not just because of international travel, but because a change in climate is supporting of the vector in areas where it didn’t used to be.
There was also recently reported a particularly sharp increase in dengue fever, for example, in Puerto Rico. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control just wrote about that as well, noting that this year’s outbreak is happening much earlier than it typically does and is much more severe, and so they themselves are wondering whether that change in pattern might be due to climate change.
VOICE: The highest number of reported dengue cases this year have been in Indonesia with over 80,000 as of August, followed by Thailand with nearly 78,000 by the end of September. Âu Lạc (Vietnam), Laos, Nepal,Formosa (Taiwan), southern China, and the Philippines have also noted higher numbers, with Malaysia also seeing a 53% increase in incidence this year, and India reporting the highest numbers in two decades.
In the Philippines, cases as of mid-September were already double those of 2009 with more than 500 people who have perished this year. Meanwhile, and health officials in Central American Guatemala say that the mosquitoes now live all year long, not just in winter as before. Europe has even been hit by the disease, with a first case appearing in southern France this year.
We are saddened to know of the thousands affected by this potentially deadly virus that is spreading with climate change. May our planet-cooling actions quickly replace such disturbing illnesses with ever expanding health and vitality. Supreme Master Ching Hai has often addressed the connection between global warming and disease, as in the following March 2009 videoconference in California, USA.