Warming up to diseases

Published: Sunday 31 May 1998

global warming is causing a resurgence in mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever across the world. These diseases are spreading from Kenya to New Guinea and South America -- from lowland enclaves to higher altitudes as winter temperature increases, warns Paul Epstein of the Harvard Medical School in Boston, usa .

Scientists believe that rising global temperature combined with the effects of the short-term weather phenomenon El Nio, is leading malaria to spread to other areas. According to Ferenc Mayer of the International Committee for the Red Cross in Geneva, thousands of people who have never been exposed to the disease are being affected.

Jonathan Patz of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, usa , warns that global warming will also increase the risk of dengue fever that is already occurring in temperate regions such as Europe and the us.

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