Feb 11, 2016

Climate change may have helped spread Zika virus according to WHO scientists

Brazil
by
Oliver Milman
,
The Guardian
amires da Costa, 16, who is four months pregnant, stands in a street with standing flood water next to her home in the Parque Sao Bento shantytown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 29 January 2016. Photo: Leo Correa, AP
amires da Costa, 16, who is four months pregnant, stands in a street with standing flood water next to her home in the Parque Sao Bento shantytown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 29 January 2016. Photo: Leo Correa, AP

It’s still not clear what role rising temperatures and altered rainfall patterns have had on the spread of Zika, which is mainly spread by mosquitos; the increased global movement of people is probably as great an influence as climate change for the spread of infectious diseases. But the World Health Organization, which declared a public health emergency over the birth defects linked to Zika, is clear that changes in climate mean a redrawn landscape for vector and water-borne diseases.