Dengue and Climate Change

The Dengue (correctly known as Dengue fever) is a mosquito-borne tropical disease.

It is caused by the dengue virus which is transmitted by the Aedes mosquitos.

Symptoms typically begin three to fourteen days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.

Occurrence of Dengue

  • The fever has become a global menace after the end of the 2nd World War and is commonly found in over 110 countries, most of them in Asia and South America.
  • Globally, some 50-528 million people are infected by the Dengue Virus which causes anywhere between 10,000-20,000 deaths.

Why is it in the news?

  • The nation of Bangladesh is currently fighting an alarmingly high dengue outbreak in the country.
  • Most of Bangladesh is low lying and crisscrossed by several waterways and river bodies.
  • In this time of the year, the rivers are swollen with floodwaters due to the onset of monsoons and this creates an ideal condition for mosquito breeding.
  • This year’s dengue outbreak is one of the worst in Bangladesh’s history.?
  • Several Health and Sanitation experts have blamed this year’s disaster on the occurrence of new weather patterns which is torrential rains followed by extremely high heat.
  • This creates a system of stagnant waters and the failure of Bangladeshi cities? in controlling the mosquito population and lack of proper waste management.

Lessons for India

The ongoing crisis in Bangladesh holds important lessons for India as parts of India suffer from the same situation and this should prove to be a wake-up call for us all as the rapidly accelerating climate change has increased the chances that such occurrences will continue to increase in the future.

 

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