Given the range of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases is environmentally determined, changes in the environment mean changes in where these diseases are most likely to spread.
West Nile virus spreads most efficiently in the United States at temperatures between 75.2–77 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a new study published in the journal eLife.
The results imply that climate change may lead to the increased spread of West Nile in some places, while causing a decrease in spread elsewhere.
“As the climate warms, it is critical to understand how temperature changes will affect the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases,” said lead author Marta Shocket, who is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Shocket and the rest of the study team used modeling to estimate the impact of temperature on 6 different mosquito-borne viruses, 4 of which presently can be found in the US.
The 6 viruses were: West Nile, St. Louis Encephalitis, Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis, Sindbis, and Rift Valley fever. The 6 viruses share some of the same species of mosquito carriers.The models were based on laboratory experiments which measured how temperatures affect mosquito survival, biting frequency, mating, developmental factors, and transmissibility of the virus.Investigators validated the […]
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