Central America is grappling with its worst outbreak of dengue fever in decades - and scientists say the disease is likely to spread and become more frequent in the future due to climate change.
Worst hit is Honduras where about 109 deaths from the mosquito-borne disease have been recorded, many among children, making this year’s dengue fever outbreak the deadliest on record in the Central America nation, the United Nations noted.
Also hard hit in Central America are Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala, with other Latin American nations such as Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia and Belize also affected, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
“We have seen dengue cases in the Americas double each decade since the 1980s and this year is particularly severe,” said Rachel Lowe, a London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine professor who researches the impact of environmental change on infectious diseases.
“Climate change is altering the climate patterns we expect. These shifting rainfall patterns can change the timing and intensity of outbreaks,” Lowe said.