Makin’ it up: Weather Channel blames Florida dengue fever cases on global warming

The Weather Channel reports:

Dengue fever — a mosquito-borne illness that infects as many as 100 million people worldwide every year, but is rare in the United States — has been found in Florida, the Florida Health Department confirmed.

Seven cases have been reported in Martin and St. Lucie counties from individuals returning from Caribbean nations, where dengue fever in endemic, according to the state’s Department of Health. In South Florida, an 18-year-old man contracted the virus locally.

Until 2009, there had not been a report of dengue fever in Florida or the rest of the continental United States since 1934. Now, several cases occur each year, typically in the Florida Keys (pictured above), usually imported from the Caribbean, Central and South America or Asia.

Dengue is a sub-tropical disease that spikes during warm seasons in the tropics and subtropics, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Like other mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria, disease epidemiologists believe dengue fever rates will increase worldwide because of climate change. (The warming climate not only encourages the spread of disease-carrying insects, but also prolongs the season during which infection is possible, according to a study recently published in the journal Science.)

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8 thoughts on “Makin’ it up: Weather Channel blames Florida dengue fever cases on global warming”

  1. I don’t even go the TWC ever anymore. No credibility. With this kind of BS, why would I even think their weather forecasts were credible?

  2. I have just returned to the States from ten years in the Caribbean, where dengue is a real and constant threat.

    Dengue is showing up in the States because the carriers of the disease, infected humans, are showing up in increasing numbers, with the ease of travel between such places as the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Puerto Rico, and points south, all of which are a constant source of infected individuals, including tourists returning from these places.

    The carrying mosquito, Aedes aegypti, has always been endemic in the American south (see chart from WHO at ) — it loves to live in discarded tires (those little round pools of stagnant rain water), water barrels, discarded beer and soda cans that have collected rain water, the little saucers under flower pots…and yes, unflushed toilets in abandoned homes or apartments.

    None of this has anything to do at all with climate change.

    It does have a lot to do with reduced mosquito control efforts by state and local governments.

  3. If dengue is showing up, can it be long before yellow fever and malaria follow? The World hopes typhus doesn’t start up. Bring back DDT.

  4. Neither vaccine nor drugs for preventing infection are available.
    The bite of one infected mosquito can result in infection. The risk of
    being bitten is highest during the early morning, several hours after
    daybreak, and in the late afternoon before sunset. However, mosquitoes
    may feed at any time during the day.
    Aedes mosquitoes typically live
    indoors and are often found in dark, cool places such as in closets,
    under beds, behind curtains, and in bathrooms.}

  5. It’s possible that regional warming will increase the mosquito active season and conceivably their range. So you go after the mosquitoes, I would say. Malaria was common in the early 19th C — in Pennsylvania. well north of where most people think it was, and well before anyone thought global warming was on the move. Heck, Archangel, Russia, used to be a malaria zone.
    Temperature is only one element in the Anopheles mosquito question anyway. I’ve been in the highlands of Uganda — warm days, chilly nights, Anopheles heaven. Same thing when I visited Nicaragua and even Saudi Arabia. Malaria is not a tropical disease as much as it’s a poverty disease and the same for dengue fever.
    The dengue mosquitoes likely got to Florida on a plane, riding on a few passengers’ legs.

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