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Rise of dengue, zika, chikungunya outbreaks and impact of climate change

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The incidence of infections caused by arboviruses, such as denge, Zika and chingungunya, has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades. About half of the world’s population is now at risk of dengue with an estimated 100–400 million infections occurring each year.

These diseases, that spread from mosquitoes to people, are causing an increasing number of outbreaks worldwide, with climate change, deforestation and urbanization being some of the major risk factors, that allow mosquitoes to adapt better to new environments and spread the risk of infection geographically further, including to the European region.

All populations in areas where the mosquito vectors are present are at risk, but the impact is greatest among the most vulnerable people, for which the arboviral disease programs do not have enough resources to respond to outbreaks. That is why WHO launched the Global Arbovirus Initiative last year, which aims at tackling emerging and re-emerging arboviruses with epidemic and pandemic potential focusing on monitoring risk, pandemic prevention, preparedness, detection and response, and building a coalition of partners.

Source: World Health Organization

Date: April 6, 2023