Guyana Coast Malaria Resurgence

Sept. 9, 2011, 1:37 p.m.


"Guyana is battling to prevent the spread of malaria as climate change brings higher temperatures and more rainfall, threatening to push the disease back into densely populated coastal regions," AlertNet reports. The majority of malaria cases occur in the northwest of the small South American country, "[b]ut recently, the mosquito-borne disease has also been found in an adjoining coastal region, as well as further inland to the east and south," the news service writes.

"According to a report released in June by the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC), from 2006 to 2010, every millimeter increase in rainfall and one-degree rise in temperature led to an additional 11 cases of malaria," an effect that "is likely to be amplified in the future, as temperatures and rainfall are predicted to head higher, bringing about changes in vector patterns," the news service reports. "While there are still gaps in scientific knowledge about the links between climate change and malaria, many researchers expect the disease to increase in areas where it is already prevalent as the world warms, shortening incubation periods, and to spread to new regions -- particularly higher altitudes," AlertNet notes (Earle, 9/7).


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