- More than three
million cases of dengue in Latin America and the Caribbean could be
avoided if global warming rise is limited to 1.5oC, says a new
UN Paris Climate Agreement has set a goal of capping global warming to well below 2oC and to
pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5oC further.
current study is the first of its kind to show that reductions in warming
from 2°C to 1.5°C could have important health benefits.
New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) says
million cases of dengue fever can be avoided per year in Latin America and the
Caribbean alone if the rise in global warming is limited to 1.5oC
The research was led by the UEA in the United Kingdom, in
collaboration with colleagues at Universidade do Estado de Mato Grosso, Brazil.
‘Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease that is endemic to over 100 countries in the Latin American, Caribbean, and Asian regions. Using computer modeling a team of scientists has predicted that 3.3 million dengue cases could be avoided per year in the endemic regions if the global-mean temperature is limited to 1.5oC.’
The findings are published May 29, 2018, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Lead researcher Dr. Felipe Colón-González, from UEA's School
of Environmental Sciences and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research,
said: "There is growing concern about the potential impacts of climate
change on human health. While it is recognised that limiting warming to 1.5°C
would have benefits for human health, the magnitude of these benefits remains
mostly unquantified. "This is the first study to show that reductions in
warming from 2°C to 1.5°C could have important health benefits."
The UN Paris Climate Agreement has set a goal of limiting
the temperature increase in this century to well below 20C and to pursue efforts to further limit
the increase to 1.5oC
above pre-industrial levels.
The team studied dengue
reports that were confirmed by clinical and laboratory tests in Latin America.
Computer models were used to predict the impacts of global warming under
different climate scenarios.
Dengue is more common in tropical countries as the mosquitoes that transmit the virus
humans thrive in warm and humid conditions.
Results of the
warming to 2°C could reduce dengue cases up to 2.8 million per year
by the end of the century. On the contrary, a global
temperature rise by 3.7°C would cause an additional 7.5 million dengue cases
per year by the middle of the century.
further to 1.5°C
will cause a further drop of up to
half a million cases per year, reducing the number by around 3.3 million cases per year.
The Caribbean and areas in Latin America like Southern
Mexico, northern Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and coastal Brazil are most
affected by increase in dengue cases with an estimate of 54 million dengue
cases per year.
Brazil can avoid
up to half a million cases per year by the 2050s and 1.4 million cases per year
by 2100 if the warming is limited to 1.5°C.
The team also found that limiting global warming would stop the spread of the disease
to areas where the incidence is currently low
such as Paraguay and northern Argentina.
Co-author Dr. Iain Lake, also from UEA, added:
"Understanding and quantifying the impacts of warming on human health is
crucial for public health preparedness and response. Warming has already
reached 1°C above pre-industrial levels, and the current trajectory, if
countries meet their international pledges to reduce CO2, is around 3°C - so
clearly a lot more needs to be done to reduce CO2 and quickly if we are to
avoid these impacts."
is caused by the dengue virus (DEN) and is transmitted to humans by the bites of the infective female
Aedes aegypti mosquito
. Dengue is
a fast emerging pandemic-prone viral disease that has increased 30-fold over
the last 50 years. It is endemic in over 100 countries that are situated mostly
in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The disease has become a leading
cause of hospitalization and death among children and adults in these regions.
Symptoms of dengue are fever, headache,
muscle and joint pain
. Sometimes the virus can cause a potentially lethal
complication called severe dengue or dengue hemorrhagic fever.
There is no specific treatment or
vaccine for dengue as of now, and in rare cases, it can be lethal.References:
- Dengue control - (http://www.who.int/denguecontrol/disease/en/)
- Dengue Fever - (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dengue-fever/symptoms-causes/syc-20353078)