Saturday, February 15, 2014

Rise in malaria forecast for tropical highlands

Maria Elena Hurtado in More people may contract malaria in the tropical highlands of Africa, Asia and South America as global warming makes the climate in these areas more suitable for the disease’s transmission, according to a study.

While the study focuses on the effects of global warming, it notes that further studies will be needed to account for other factors that may influence the disease’s spread, including economic development, changes in human population patterns and adaptations in the mosquitoes that transmit malaria.

The authors of the paper, published this month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (3 February), used five existing malaria impact models to make predictions for the 2030s, 2050s and 208

The malaria models were run under four different carbon dioxide emissions scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The researchers examined how easily disease would be transmitted and how many people would be at risk under the different scenarios.

They found that each of the five models predicted an extended the disease transmission season in the highland regions of eastern Africa, South Africa, central Angola, the plateau of Madagascar, central America, southern Brazil and the border area between India and Nepal....

A bucket of skeeters, shot by the National Institutes of Health

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