Effect of Climate Change on Malaria Transmission
Malaria is a contagious disease that is caused by parasite called plasmodium which spreads with the bites of infected mosquitoes. Since malaria is a vector-borne disease it is significantly affected by the change in climate. There is increase in malaria transmission when the climatic conditions are favourable for mosquito breeding whereas inadequate rains and low temperature are too dry for mosquitoes to transmit malaria.
Climate change is mainly caused due to global warming. According to the World Health Organization, climate change has significantly contributed to the number of cases of malaria in South America, Europe and Africa. It is also evident from many studies that climate changes do tend to increase risk of malaria in comparison to the areas where it remains stable.
Changes in temperature and precipitation directly affect the rate of malaria disease. Moreover, it gives vector the ability to move higher altitude, thereby increasing the areas of disease transmission. Even the areas that have controlled the disease tend to increase the risk of malaria. The areas that offer unfavourable climatic conditions such as low temperature for malarial transmission may experience higher infection even with a slight increase in temperature.
Usually people living in countries that are located in geographical locations ideal for mosquito breeding are largely affected by climate change. The developing countries that don’t have sufficient means to cope with the wide spread of disease are also likely to have adverse impact.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Mar 29, 2011
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