Jul 23, 2019 | Updated: 09:13 AM EDT

Zika Virus’ Rapid Spread Affected By Climate Change, Studies Show

Feb 17, 2017 03:42 PM EST

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 Aedes aegypti mosquitos are seen in a lab at the Fiocruz institute on January 26, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil.
(Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Climate conditions, most especially climate change might be a predisposing factor to high risk of having Zika virus transmission. The research was conducted by Jonathan Patz, MD director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

According to WebMD, Zika Virus made its wave in 2015 wherein it was the warmest year based from the record of NASA. The epidemic has the largest recorded viral spread boosted by a "super" El Niño weather, one of the effects of climate change.

Dengue fever, a condition closely related to Zika Virus was one of the bases of the research. The researchers found out that cases of dengue fever are way higher during El Niño. The reports were gathered in eight countries from Southeast Asia.

During warmer days, dengue fever cases increased faster and more people became a victim of the mosquito- transmitted infection compared to the years wherein the temperature is way cooler. Because of the epidemic similarity, this discovery can also reflect Zika Virus.

The similarity between Dengue and Zika is proven by their mode of transmission. Both infections are initiated by the bite of mosquito. The development and progression of any viruses carried by mosquitoes becomes faster under warm climate.

In warm conditions, mosquitoes are smaller and have more frequent feeding behavior making them crave for more food. Thus during this given scenario, mosquitoes bite more often in warmer days. Furthermore, the rate of transmission of Zika Virus and Dengue into the mosquito increases along with high temperature.

 A similar issue regarding some infectious diseases being affected by climate change was also reported in the recent years. Daily Mail  revealed that cases of Ebola and West Nile Virus will rapidly spread as a result of global warming. The mechanism is due to the susceptibility of animals to new parasites and disease as a cause of warm habitats. This could also reflect the recent research regarding Zika Virus.

Head of Global Surveillance, Christine Johnson, PhD, DVM stated that there could be a emergence of new disease. The recent research claimed that other diseases aside from Zika Virus can also be boosted by climate change such as cholera, vibriosis, rift valley fever, and yellow fever.

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