Thursday, May 01, 2014

Tiger mosquito moves north with climate change, provoking new concerns about arboviruses

Public health authorities are concerned that the Asian tiger mosquito could bring the chikungunya virus from tropical regions up north as it moves north with global warming and longer growing seasons.  The mosquito is already reported in New York, according to the story.  The CNN story by Durland Fish, Mark Pagani and Anthony Leiserwitz is here. The virus is in the Dominican Republic and other areas of the Caribbean.  It generally causes what amounts to a “viral rheumatic fever”.
Fortunately, most arboviruses are specific as to what insects can carry them, and conversely, most insects carry only very specific viruses.  But the idea that climate change could cause new kinds of pandemics or cause existing viruses to behave differently cannot be easily dismissed. 

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