What it's about:
Rising temperatures are increasing the risk of mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, scientists from Climate Central warn.
Analysis reveals that the number of “disease danger days” - days with an average temperature between 61 degrees and 93 degrees Fahrenheit (16C-33C) in the spring, summer and fall - is increasing in 94 percent of 244 cities across the United States.
Cities in southern states, like El Paso in Texas, are particularly at risk, recording an increase of at least 30 disease danger days compared with 1970, the research by the group of scientists and journalists showed.
The transmission of Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses was recorded in Texas, Florida and Hawaii.
High temperatures elevate the risk of disease transmission, by shortening the incubation period and increasing the number of infectious mosquitoes, the scientists said.
Why it's noteworthy:
The increase in mosquito-borne diseases poses a major public health challenge for the United States, the report noted.
Although mosquitoes in the United States do not carry deadly diseases, they can lead to serious health complications.
The land area in the United States most suitable to Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which carry dangerous diseases like dengue and Zika, increases from 5 to 50 percent by 2100, putting 60 percent of the country’s northeastern population at risk of transmission, the scientists said.
If temperatures continue to rise, allowing mosquitoes to thrive, the world could be dealing with a major health crisis, they concluded.
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