A scientist from the University of Florida in the United States found links to the rise of dengue cases due to the high temperatures caused by El Niño, a report read.
“Dengue infects large numbers of people across the tropics each year, but incidence can vary dramatically from year to year in any setting,” Prof. Derek Cummings, senior author of the study, said in EurekAlert.org.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last Oct. 6., looked into the increase of dengue cases from 1997 to 1998 in eight Southeast Asian countries during a very intense El Niño weather phenomenon.
The EurekAlert.org said this study is very timely as the “most intense” El Niño is currently taking place in the same region in nearly two decades.
“The synchronization of incidence across such a large area, spanning thousands of kilometers, is really striking,” Cummings said. “It suggests that continued multi-country coordination of surveillance for dengue is critical to understanding patterns in each individual country.”
In the Philippines, cases of dengue fever are on the rise and are nearing a 100,000 mark from Jan. 1 to Sept. 19. A SunStar report said there are now 92,807 cases, which is 23.5 percent higher compared to last year of the same period.
In Cebu alone, the regional health office said it has already distributed P5 million worth of larvicide and will need P10 million more, according to another SunStar report.
As of this writing, there is still no vaccine for dengue, a disease brought by mosquito bite. The World Health Organization noted in a South China Morning Post report that about half of the world’s population is at risk.