As Planet Warms, One of World's Deadliest Diseases Could Spread

October 23, 2020 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Global warming could lead to an explosion of malaria in population centers in Africa, South America, and other regions across the world, researchers revealed Thursday.

The mosquito-borne disease already disproportionately affects poor and rural communities in the global south, killing approximately 1.2 million people a year, hitting sub-Saharan Africa the hardest. Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and University of Michigan report in the journal Science that they are the first to uncover evidence that changes in climate push this disease to higher elevations — an outcome that is not good for humans.

Analyzing records of malaria cases in the Antioquia region of western Colombia between 1990 to 2005, as well as from the Debre Zeit area of central Ethiopia from 1993 to 2005, researchers uncovered evidence that malaria moves to higher altitudes during warmer temperatures and lower altitudes during cooler temperatures. The researchers accounted for other factors, such as drug resistance, rain patterns, and mosquito control programs.


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