Malaria spreads to higher altitudes due to global warming
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Researchers believe that increasing temperatures could result in millions of additional cases in some areas. “The impact in terms of increasing the risk of exposure to disease is very large,” Professor Mercedes Pascual, from the University of Michigan says.
Higher altitudes have traditionally provided a haven from this devastating disease. Warmer temperatures remove this roadblock. Both the malaria parasite and the malaria-bearing mosquito struggle to cope with colder air.
“The risk of the disease decreases with altitude and this is why historically people have settled in these higher regions,” Pascual says. The disease is now entering new regions that had previously been malaria-free.
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