Armageddon ahead

Published: Thursday 30 April 1998

global warming could lead to more than floods and inclement weather. It could facilitate the spread of tropical illness like dengue fever, scientists have warned. Researchers at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, usa , used computer models to map the general circulation of the earth's weather patterns and determine changes in regions where dengue fever, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, is prevalent.

Dengue is already the most widespread viral infection, transmitted by insects to people. It causes inflammation of lymphal nodes, bleeding and fever accompanied by muscle pain, with fatal consequences. What makes it such a dreaded disease, according to the researchers, is that there is no vaccine for it. They say that temperate regions bordered on subtropical areas face greater threat from the disease.

They say, "Since inhabitants of these border regions would lack immunity from past exposures, dengue fever transmitted among these new populations could be extensive."

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