Amazon Deforestation Increases Malaria Rate by 50%

Anopheles mosquito photo

photo: Wikipedia

A new report in the Center for Disease Control's journal Emerging Infectious Diseases highlights one more bad consequence of Amazon deforestation: In areas that have been cleared of trees incidence of malaria increase nearly 50%.Mongabay quotes study lead author Sarah Olson:

The deforested landscape, with more open spaces and partially sunlight pools of water, appears to provide ideal habitat for [the Anopheles darlingi] mosquito.

Olson says that in deforested areas Anopheles darlingi displaces other mosquitos which are less prone to carrying malaria.

Studying 54 Brazilian health districts, comparing malaria occurrence with satellite imagery of deforestation, the researchers found that just a 4% change in forest cover was associated with a 48% increase in malaria. This takes into account factors which may influence malaria incidence, such as better access to healthcare in certain areas and others.

Here's the original report: Deforestation and Malaria in Mâncio Lima County, Brazil [PDF]

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More on Deforestation & Malaria:
Tropical Deforestation Brings Economic Boom, Followed by Human & Ecological Bust
Brazil's Deforestation Increasing Again As Economy Improves
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