photo: Matthew McDermott
According to new statistics by the Florida Department of Health (via CNN) Key West has seen 24 cases of dengue fever through mid-July that have been confirmed to have been contracted locally. That compares to an additional 49 cases in people who had recently travelled to areas where dengue is more prevalent.
What's the green angle? Basically it's just an illustration of what Florida, as well as 28 other US states may be in for as the climate continues to change over the next century.
Aedes aegypti, photo: Wikipedia
Though both species of mosquito that transmit dengue (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) now live in Florida, the last time there was an outbreak of the illness was in 1934.
To date, most cases in the US that are caught locally have occurred along the Texas-Mexico border.
Given that it's not really possible to say that the latest cases are directly related to climate change, just take it as a reminder of what's likely to become more common.
According to a study done last year by the NRDC, there have been increases in dengue fever cases in the US in recent years, and mosquitos that can carry the disease have become established in 28 states, primarily in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, Texas and Oklahoma, but also in a significant area of Arizona, as well as patches as far north as New Hampshire and Minnesota.
Worldwide there are as many as 100 million infections of dengue annually, killing some 25,000 people. The NRDC report shows that due to spread of the mosquitos due to changing climate, an additional 3 billion people will be at risk for dengue by 2085.
More on Diseases:
Tick-Borne Diseases May Spread More Easily With Global Warming
Climate Change Too Abstract For You? Dengue Fever Could Spread to 28 US States
Tropics Migrating Northward, Hastening Spread of Tropical Diseases