Malaria and Mosquitoes in Britain: the effect of global climate change

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1999
Authors:K. Snow
Journal:European Mosquito Bulletin
Date Published:06/1999

<p>Globally, malaria is without question the most important of the insect-bome diseases. At the present time over 2000 million people in over a hundred tropical and subtropical countries of the world live under the threat of the disease. Assessments of the number of people infected vary, but the figure is probably in&nbsp;excess of 400 million. It is estimated that malaria causes, or contributes to, the deaths of between one and&nbsp;three million people each year, mostly children under five years of age (World Health Org;mi7.ation, 1996).&nbsp;The situation in Europe is that, with the exception of the Ural region of Russia and Ukraine (Nikolaeva,&nbsp;1996), endemically transmitted malaria has been elimin&quot;ted. In 1995 there were 50 cases of endemically&nbsp;transmitted malaria in Bulgaria (Nikolaeva, 1996), indicating that constant vigilance is necessary. Only<br />
female Anopheles mosquitoes, of which there are currently eighteen species recognised in Europe but only&nbsp;five in Britain, can transmit malaria.</p>
<p><br />
The question that entomologists and health woIkers are asking at present is &quot;with global climatic change;&nbsp;will malaria return to these shores as an endemically transmitted disease?&quot; In order to begin to answer&nbsp;this question it is necessary to examine the magnitude of the predicted climatic warming in Britain, the&nbsp;environmental requirements of the malarial parasite and the ways in which mosquito populations might&nbsp;be affected.</p>

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