Effects of climate change on the spread of zika virus: a public health threat

Hina Asad 1  and David O. Carpenter 1
  • 1 Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY, USA
Hina Asad
  • Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY, USA
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and David O. Carpenter
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY, USA
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Abstract

Zika is a vector-borne viral disease transmitted to humans primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The increased climate instability has contributed to the emergence of infections carried by mosquitoes like dengue, chikungunya and zika. While infection with the zika virus is not new, the recent epidemic of microcephaly in Brazil and other countries in South America resulting from the infection of pregnant women with the zika virus raise a number of serious public health concerns. These include the question of how climate change affects the range of zika vectors, what can we do to shorten the length of mosquito season, how and why the symptoms of zika infection have changed and what can be done to reduce the burden of human disease from this infection? Another important question that needs to be answered is what are the factors that caused the zika virus to leave the non-human primates and/or other mammals and invade the human population?

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