Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate change could see dengue fever come to Europe

Date:
August 22, 2014
Source:
University of East Anglia
Summary:
Dengue fever could make headway in popular European holiday destinations if climate change continues on its predicted trajectory, according to research. The study used current data from Mexico, where dengue fever is present, and information about EU countries to model the likelihood of the disease spreading in Europe. They found that coastal regions around the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas, the Po Valley and North East Italy were most at risk.

Dengue fever is a tropical disease caused by a virus that is spread by mosquitoes, with symptoms including fever, headache, muscle and joint pain.
Credit: Ramon Portellano

Dengue fever could make headway in popular European holiday destinations if climate change continues on its predicted trajectory, according to University of East Anglia research published in open access journal BMC Public Health.

Related Articles


The study used current data from Mexico, where dengue fever is present, and information about EU countries to model the likelihood of the disease spreading in Europe. They found that coastal regions around the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas, the Po Valley and North East Italy were most at risk.

Dengue fever is a tropical disease caused by a virus that is spread by mosquitoes, with symptoms including fever, headache, muscle and joint pain. Each year, dengue infects 50 million people worldwide and causes approximately 12,000 deaths -- mostly in South-east Asia and the Western Pacific.

Because the mosquitoes that carry and transmit the virus thrive in warm and humid conditions, it is more commonly found in areas with these weather conditions. Dense populations and global travel are also associated with increasing the spread of the disease, which was observed in the last few decades.

Local cases such as those reported in France and Croatia in 2010 clearly show that dengue can be transmitted in Europe, in areas where the mosquito species that carries the virus has established.

For this study, the researchers wanted to estimate how likely the disease is to become established in Europe as its climate changes up to the end of the century.

The researchers analysed data from Mexico on the occurrence of dengue fever and the effect of climate variables such as, temperature, humidity and rainfall, as well as socioeconomic factors that included population figures and GDP per capita. These data were then used to estimate dengue fever cases in the 27 EU member states over four time periods: baseline conditions (covering years 1961-1990), short-term (2011-2040), medium-term (2041-2070) and long-term (2071-2100).

The results of the long-term projections found an increased risk of the disease when compared to baseline conditions. The incidence rate is predicted to go from 2 per 100,000 inhabitants to 10 per 100,000 in some places.

The areas anticipated to be at most risk were found to be along the Italian cost and Po Valley in Italy, the Spanish Mediterranean and southern Spain in general.

Lead researcher Prof Paul Hunter, from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "Our study has shown that the risk of dengue fever is likely to increase in Europe under climate change, but that almost all of the excess risk will fall on the coastal areas of the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas and the North Eastern part of Italy, particularly the Po Valley."

The authors acknowledge that a limitation of their study is that it is based on clinical data from Mexico, which has much less summer-winter variation than Europe, thus affecting mosquitoes' survival and overwintering. They believe that future work can strengthen their model by modifying it to take into account the difference in seasonality between both areas and testing other climate change scenarios.

Prof Hunter said: "The exact incidence of dengue fever is dependent on several other factors, some of which we were unable to model at this stage. Nevertheless, public health agencies in high risk areas need to plan, implement and evaluate active reporting of mosquito populations and clinical surveillance by local doctors. Work should be carried out to improve awareness of the increased risk amongst health practitioners and the general public."

'Climate change and the emergence of vector-borne diseases in Europe: case study of dengue fever' is published in the journal BMC Public Health on August 22.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Maha Bouzid, Felipe J Colón-González, Tobias Lung, Iain R Lake, Paul R Hunter. Climate change and the emergence of vector-borne diseases in Europe: case study of dengue fever. BMC Public Health, 2014; 14 (1): 781 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-781

Cite This Page:

University of East Anglia. "Climate change could see dengue fever come to Europe." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140822083935.htm>.
University of East Anglia. (2014, August 22). Climate change could see dengue fever come to Europe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140822083935.htm
University of East Anglia. "Climate change could see dengue fever come to Europe." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140822083935.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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