Robert Green Ingersoll once said, “In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are only consequences.” At the turn of the 20th century, it is becoming increasingly evident that global warming has serious implications on all aspects of human life, including infectious diseases such as malaria. Infectious diseases are global entities whose prevalence depends directly upon the interaction between the population and a region’s climate. Therefore, global warming may result in a considerable shift of the spectrum of these disease-inducing vectors, specifically, Mosquitoes. Climate plays an important role in the geographical distribution and seasonal abundance of Mosquitoes. In North America, where 1500 cases of malaria occur each year, a change in temperature, precipitation, humidity or wind pattern can directly influence these vector species reproduction, development and longevity. This research paper will introduce the basic concepts of global warming, its implications on malaria vectors thus human health in North America, and suggest possible preventatives and solutions we can utilize.
What is malaria? Often associated with poverty, Malaria is the world’s most important and common vector-borne disease. About 2400 million people are at risk of contracting the disease and malaria is currently in 92 countries and of those 2400 million, 1500 cases occur in North America. The water-related disease is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium and only four types of the parasite can infect humans. Malaria parasites are transmitted by female mosquitoes and multiply in the red blood cells of human beings thus causing many symptoms such as anemia, high fevers, chills, nausea, coma and in extreme cases, even death. Because Mosquitoes are arthropods meaning that their cold-blooded and that their internal temperature is greatly affected by temperature, climate change can directly effect the size... [continues]
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