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Scientists find evidence of link between climate change and Malaria

Scientists have managed to prove that there is in fact a direct link between the changing of the world’s climate and the increase of malaria. The study which was carried out by a team of international scientists has also indicated that millions of people, particularly those living in highlands in East Africa and in South America are at risk of contracting the disease as a result of climate change.

The concept that a warmer climate would mean that the parasite would be able to survive at higher altitudes along with the mosquitoes that transmit it between humans has been one that has been discussed in detail for the past 20 years.

Dr. Bouma, a senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has said that “It was never proven. A lot of research came out but it couldn’t make the connection and so the link between climate and malaria was lost. Global warming was a non-issue for malaria.

The theory about this continued however. Scientists maintained that malaria would creep to higher altitudes during warmer years and then shift to lower elevations when the temperatures were colder. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine teamed up with a team at the University of Michigan to examine the theory two decades ago.

They examined case studies from western Colombia and from central Ethiopia between 1990 and 2005 where Dr. Bouma and his colleagues were able to conclude that there was a link with malaria and temperature variations in highland regions.

The results mean that there could be a massive risk posed to tens of millions in these regions and Dr Bouma has said that global warming will creep up the mountains and spread to new high-altitude areas. And because these populations lack protective immunity they will be particularly vulnerable for severe morbidity and mortality.”



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