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Researchers develop the first climate-based model to predict Dengue fever outbreaks
Date:6/5/2009

") is located in tropical and subtropical areas of the globe, where the weather is dominated by rainfall.

This project looks at climate and vegetation variables that have an impact on the mosquito populations in the American Tropics, such as El Nio Southern Oscillations, sea-surface temperatures and seasonal vegetation dynamics that affect evaporation and humidity near the ground.

"We were surprised that sea-surface temperature variations in the Pacific related to El Nio can be linked to a debilitating disease," Fuller said. "Now we see more clearly that global climate oscillations such as El Nio are important drivers of disease as well"

The study contributes to the rapidly emerging field of climate and infectious disease, which addresses increasing concerns that global warming, will exacerbate certain diseases like Dengue Fever and allow the vectors to spread to more temperate areas. The findings of this study were published earlier this year in the Institute of Physics journal Environmental Research Letters.

The model predicted a major Dengue epidemic of 2005 and has also been tested on data from Trinidad and Singapore with extremely accurate results, Fuller said. Other factors that may contribute to the increased occurrence of Dengue

Fever in the Tropics are: global trade, population growth and uncontrolled or unplanned urbanization.


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Contact: Marie Guma-Diaz@umiami.edu
m.gumadiaz@umiami.edu
305-284-1601
University of Miami
Source:Eurekalert  

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