Will Climate Change Boost Mosquito-Borne Disease?
The immense amount of coverage of the Zika virus outbreak has focused attention on the health care situation in Brazil, particularly with the Rio Olympics almost upon us. Most recently, U.S. women’s soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo has said that, because of the virus, she is unsure about whether she will participate in the games.
A recent PBS Frontline report showed how Zika strained the country’s health care system — the largest in the world — which was already overwhelmed by a huge increase in two other mosquito-borne illnesses: dengue fever and chikungunya. Pouring gasoline on the fire is an economic crisis resulting in fewer doctors and nurses to a combat greater numbers of cases.
And of course, it isn’t just Brazil. The spread of Zika across the Americas has prompted the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency.