El Nino Fueled Zika Outbreak In South America

Posted: Dec 20 2016, 4:50am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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El Nino Fueled Zika Outbreak in South America
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  • El Niño Promoted Zika Virus, New Research Says

The 'Godzilla' El Niño of 2015 caused change in weather in South America.

The 'Godzilla' El Niño of 2015 caused change in weather in South America. The research was based on a new model that shows the effects of climate on Zika virus spread by mosquito species named Aedes aegypti, and Aedes albopictus.

The model can also help health officials make precautions for any future risks of diseases spread by mosquitos. The model used different factors, including mosquito biting rates, virus spreading rates, and mortality rates. These levels would help experts to see how climate assist in spreading the virus Zika. First time zika was discovered in 21015 in South America.

The researchers say that Zika spreads due to climate changes caused by El Nino, a natural event over Pacific Ocean that changes worldwide weather. The event creates healthy atmosphere for mosquito vectors.

The event El Nino happens after every 3 to 7 years with different intensity. The event that happened in 2015 was the strongest of all, so experts named it Godzilla. Godzilla caused weather changes, including heavy rains, droughts, and high temperatures globally.

Zika virus reached Brazil in 2013 from SoutheastAsia, stated Dr. Cyril Caminade, a population and epidemiology researcher, and team leader. But it was Godzilla that caused virus development.

There were also other factors that contributed a lot in spreading Zika, like travel and trade, non-exposed population in South America, and also co-infections will dengue and other viruses.

WHO stated that Zika affects new born, creating several neurological complications. World Health Organization considers Zika a public health challenge, instead of considering it an international emergency.

Zika will grow, so there is a need to develop precautionary measures to deal with risks created by Zika, stated Matthew Baylis, who is professor at the University's Institute of Infection and Global Health.

The research team expects a huge spread of Zika virus in Southern China, Southern Europe, and in the South Eastern United States during summer.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emerging Infections and Zoonoses funded the research by collaborating with the University of Liverpool, Public Health England, and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

The research study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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