Fueled By Climate Change, Dengue Fever Spreads Northward to the US


Not long ago, dengue fever was considered a tropical disease confined to regions like Latin America. It is an illness that can be caused by four different viruses, and it is spread by mosquito bites. Warmer temperatures and worse storms have brought dengue back to the United States. The northward migration of mosquitos has led to an upsurge in dengue cases in southern states including Florida, Texas, and Hawaii. In addition to spreading to new areas, regions where dengue is already common are being hit harder than ever. Latin America is enduring its worst dengue outbreak in history. After a record-breaking year in 2023, the number of cases to date in 2024 are 238% higher than at the same time last year. Cases are up by over 400% compared to the five-year average. A warmer, wetter climate has allowed mosquitos to thrive year-round, which has dramatically increased their numbers. Higher temperatures also mean that the viruses can replicate faster, and as a consequence, each mosquito carries a greater amount of the virus. This makes it more likely that a person whose bitten will develop an infection.

Full Story: NBC News