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Scientists Explain How Climate Change Affects Transmission of Malaria

May, 2021

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Climatic conditions such as temperature, rainfall, and humidity appear to have substantial impact on the factors that cause the transmission of malaria.

According to a NASA report, 2020 and 2016 have been the warmest years since the year 1880. These data also indicated that the global average temperatures has been significantly rising since the last century, with accelerated rise in the global average temperature from the 1950s. Scientists’ analysis indicates that the mosquito-borne diseases are benefitted from this rise in temperatures across the globe. The warmer climate was seen to facilitate the prominence of mosquito-borne diseases and their transmission.

When the climate data is compared to the records of transmission of malaria across regions, it was observed that climate change (i.e. increase in humidity, rainfall and temperature) aided in proliferation of the population of mosquitoes even at higher altitudes. The increase in temperature at lower altitude region, where malaria and mosquitoes population are already prevalent, speeds up the growth cycle of the Plasmodium parasite that causes malaria, thus developing malaria faster and increasing the transmission of malaria faster.

The scientists all over the globe studied the effects of El Nino climate cycle, how it impacts weather patterns across the globe and how all of it is affected by climate change. Scientists have also found a link between the change in the climate cycle and the transmission of diseases such as dengue, malaria, and rift valley fever.

The additional rainfall at various regions due to the change in the El Nino cycle is also believed to provide optimum conditions for the breeding of mosquitoes, especially in areas that were usually dry, thus allowing the mosquitoes to breed in new regions. Even the drought and drier areas can get affected with increase in transmission of mosquito-borne diseases as extreme dry climates can lead to the conversion of rivers into small pools that could become the optimum breeding site for mosquitoes. All these conclusions indicate that the climate change is a serious issue and must be addressed to prevent several health problems across the globe.

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