Climate change has increased the ability of dengue fever to spread, a study has found.
Dengue fever, also known as break bone fever, is often transmitted by mosquito bites. Its symptoms include high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains.
Climate change is said to have increased the ability of dengue fever to spread because the mosquitoes and the virus they carry breed more quickly.
The researchers say global warming will also increase the spread of other diseases such as schistosomiasis.
The study, which was published in Lancet Journal, was carried out by researchers from 26 institutions around the world, the WHO, World Bank and the UN’s world meteorological organisation.
The researchers said heat waves were affecting many vulnerable people and global warming is boosting the transmission of deadly diseases such as dengue fever.
They said air pollution from fossil fuel burning is also causing millions of early deaths each year, while damage to crops from extreme weather threatens hunger for millions of children.
The WMO reported on Monday that the level of carbondioxide in the atmosphere made a record jump in 2016 to hit a concentration not seen for more than three million years.
“Climate change is happening and it’s a health issue today for millions worldwide,” said Anthony Costello, co-chair of the group behind the report.
Costello said acting to halt global warming would also deliver a huge benefit for health.
“The outlook is challenging, but we still have an opportunity to turn a looming medical emergency into the most significant advance for public health this century.”
Christiana Figueres, who also co-chaired the report, said: “Our scientists have been telling us for some time that we’ve got a bad case of climate change. Now our doctors are telling us it’s bad for our health.”
“Hundreds of millions of people are already suffering health impacts as a result of climate change.
“Tackling climate change directly, unequivocally, and immediately improves global health. It’s as simple as that.”
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