Predicting Transmission Suitability of Mosquito-Borne Diseases under Climate Change to Underpin Decision Making

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Abstract / Description of output

The risk of the mosquito-borne diseases malaria, dengue fever and Zika virus is expected to shift both temporally and spatially under climate change. As climate change projections continue to improve, our ability to predict these shifts is also enhanced. This paper predicts transmission suitability for these mosquito-borne diseases, which are three of the most significant, using the most up-to-date climate change projections. Using a mechanistic methodology, areas that are newly suitable and those where people are most at risk of transmission under the best- and worst-case climate change scenarios have been identified. The results show that although transmission suitability is expected to decrease overall for malaria, some areas will become newly suitable, putting naïve populations at risk. In contrast, transmission suitability for dengue fever and Zika virus is expected to increase both in duration and geographical extent. Although transmission suitability is expected to increase in temperate zones for a few months of the year, suitability remains focused in the tropics. The highest transmission suitability in tropical regions is likely to exacerbate the intense existing vulnerability of these populations, especially children, to the multiple consequences of climate change, and their severe lack of resources and agency to cope with these impacts and pressures. As these changes in transmission suitability are amplified under the worst-case climate change scenario, this paper makes the case in support of enhanced and more urgent efforts to mitigate climate change than has been achieved to date. By presenting consistent data on the climate-driven spread of multiple mosquito-borne diseases, our work provides more holistic information to underpin prevention and control planning and decision making at national and regional levels.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13656
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2022

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