Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Risk of dengue fever epidemic in Europe

Date:
April 7, 2014
Source:
Ume universitet
Summary:
The risk of dengue fever beginning to spread in Europe is imminent. According to researchers, this is no longer just an issue for the scientific community but also for politicians and policy makers, who need to be prepared and develop preventive measures.

The risk of dengue fever beginning to spread in Europe is imminent. According to researchers from Ume University, this is no longer just an issue for the scientific community but also for politicians and policy makers, who need to be prepared and develop preventive measures.

With a changing climate and rising temperatures in Europe, the incidence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito has also increased. The mosquito is the main vector of dengue that can cause haemorrhagic fever. Although no outbreak of the disease has not yet occurred in Europe, researchers at the Epidemiology and Global Health unit at Ume University claim that there is now good living conditions for the mosquito in Europe and that it is therefore only a matter of time before we see an epidemic here. The Aedes albopictus mosquito has already established itself in large parts of Europe. Even though it is not as competent a vector as Aedes aegypti, several domestic cases of the disease have been observed in countries such as France and Croatia.

"The last outbreak of dengue in Portuguese Madeira when several thousand became ill, shows that it is no longer a theoretical possibility that the disease can take hold in Europe. It is a reality that can strike at any time," says Raman Preet, researcher and scientific project manager of the Dengue Tools project at the Department of Epidemiology and Global Health, Ume University. "When the disease shows up in Europe it has probably accompanied travelers in areas in the world where the disease is established. Then it will be spread with the help of the Aedes mosquito."

The risk for Swedish travelers to be infected by dengue is highest when going to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, while most cases in Sweden stems from trips to Thailand. There is currently no vaccine that can protect against dengue, nor is there any treatment when the illness strikes. Symptoms are similar to those of severe cold with fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, or upset stomach. The disease can be life threatening when it affects children, the elderly and chronically ill. In severe cases it can develop into a hemorrhagic fever.

The previous models used to study the spread of dengue and especially the living conditions for the Aedes mosquito has taken up the average temperature in different areas. Jing Helmersson, PhD student within the EU-funded DT project at Ume University, demonstrates in her studies that it is not enough. These calculations must also include the diurnal temperature distribution in different areas, and temporal trends when assessing the potential for an epidemic caused by dengue. Therefore, Jing Helmersson has developed a climate model with historical data from 1901 to the present day, whose projections extends to 2099. The results show a strong link between climate change and increased ability for mosquitoes to spread the disease in Europe.

"In our analyses, we can see that climate change, including the extreme weather with large daily temperature fluctuations in different areas of Europe, causes a large relative increase in the potential for epidemic spread of dengue fever," says Jing Helmersson. "It mainly concerns areas in southern and central Europe where the potential for proliferation previously has been small. At the same time we see that the spread potential will decrease in warm areas of the world, because the temperatures get too high."

Following the results of the research project, Jing Helmersson believes that it is important to continue with the mapping of future risks of dengue infection, especially in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Increased globalization and the influx of viruses carried by flight passengers further heightens the risks.

"Perhaps the most important of these studies is that they give us a better understanding of the risks of a future epidemic of dengue fever," says Jing Helmersson. "This type of modelling where we use weather and climate data makes it possible to forewarn the authorities in countries that are at risk of dengue epidemics, so that they in turn can prepare and start to act."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ume universitet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ume universitet. "Risk of dengue fever epidemic in Europe." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407090531.htm>.
Ume universitet. (2014, April 7). Risk of dengue fever epidemic in Europe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407090531.htm
Ume universitet. "Risk of dengue fever epidemic in Europe." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407090531.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Parks officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin had a fowl problem. Canadian Geese were making a mess of a park, so officials enlisted cardboard versions of man's best friend. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins