The World Health Organization is warning about a surge in dengue fever due to the El Niño weather pattern and climate change. Health officials in Brazil are echoing those concerns.
“We have a situation that is very worrying because of climate change [and] mainly the El Niño phenomenon,” said Ethel Maciel, Brazilian secretary of surveillance at the health ministry. “There will be [an acceleration] in transmission.”
Brazil said that it could see 5 million cases of dengue fever this year. Dengue is transmitted through a mosquito that thrives in pools of water.
There is a dengue vaccine but it is not approved for children under 9 years old or anyone over 16 years old. Strange, right?
Researchers have said that they can release lab-grown mosquitos that were infected with the Wolbachia bacteria that outcompetes the dengue virus but the effects of that have not been proven.