The transmission of dengue is intricately linked to three pivotal factors, namely, rainfall, humidity, and temperature, which can create an optimal environment for the multiplication of mosquitoes carrying the disease.
As the dengue cases continue to surge, the association between climate change and the dynamics of pathogen-vector and host relationships is hard to ignore. There is growing evidence of the possible effects of climate change on the incidence of infectious diseases.
The Lancet's annual global countdown on the health impacts of climate change makes a noteworthy observation. The number of months conducive to dengue transmission by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in India has increased to 5.6 months per year, emphasising the growing impact of climate change on the spread of dengue in the country.
The transmission of dengue is intricately linked to three pivotal factors, namely, rainfall, humidity, and temperature, which can create an optimal environment for the multiplication of mosquitoes carrying the disease. Other factors that have driven the spread of dengue fever include increased movement of people and goods, urbanisation and pressure on water and sanitation.
A viral infection transmitted through mosquito bites, dengue manifests with flu-like symptoms, such as high fevers, eye pain, rashes, severe headaches, and body aches. In severe instances, the infection can progress to dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome, both of which can be fatal.
A recent study by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) sheds light on how the dengue virus has evolved over the past few decades in India. It emphasises the critical requirement for the development of a vaccine tailored to address the specific strains prevalent in the country.
The socio-economic fallout of this public health challenge is severe, with households contending with the economic strain of medical expenses and reduced productivity due to illness. As we find itself at the intersection of climate change and the dengue crisis, a proactive and collaborative response is the urgent need of the hour. Implementing public awareness initiatives to eradicate identified risk factors for vector breeding could play a pivotal role in preventing future outbreaks.