back to article Dengue fever threatens continental US

US health officials have warned that the global warming and inadequate control of mosquito populations could see dengue fever spread from the tropics to the continental US, Reuters reports. According to Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and his senior scientific adviser, Dr …

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IT Angle

widespread

by checking/sampling the blood antibodies over most of the continental US it has been shown that very many citizens have been exposed to WNF, luckily not showing symptoms, ie death. (thescientist Dec 2007)

Here in Europe, a village in Italy near Ravenna was in 2007 filled with large numbers of Tiger Mosquitos and quote from somewhere random: ... "chikungunya, a relative of dengue fever normally found in the Indian Ocean region....Aided by global warming and globalization, Castiglione di Cervia has the dubious distinction of playing host to the first outbreak in modern Europe of a disease that had previously been seen only in the tropics. The epidemic proved that tropical viruses are now able to spread in new areas, far north of their previous range. The tiger mosquito, which first arrived in Ravenna three years ago, is thriving across southern Europe and even in France and Switzerland. "

/can I have the biowarfare coat over there with the insecticide bottle and the flyswatter, no not the blue one, the red one

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Stop

Umm - check with Dr Paul Reiter before running global warming dengue stories

Dr Paul Reiter has been the CDC expert on mosquito borne diseases on dengue, but also malaria. He has now started work at the Pasteur institute in the same field.

It can fairly be said that he is one of the world's leading experts on mosquito borne diseases and also has a strong appreciation of potential global warming effects,

His comment in http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/2005-09-01/paul.htm is quite definitive regarding climate change and the IPCC.

"The natural history of mosquito-borne diseases is complex, and the interplay of climate, ecology, mosquito biology, and many other factors defies simplistic analysis. The recent resurgence of many of these diseases is a major cause for concern, but it is facile to attribute this resurgence to climate change, or to use models based on temperature to "predict" future prevalence. In my opinion, the IPCC has done a disservice to society by relying on "experts" who have little or no knowledge of the subject, and allowing them to make authoritative pronouncements that are not based on sound science. In truth, the principal determinants of transmission of malaria and many other mosquito-borne diseases are politics, economics and human activities. A creative and organized application of resources is urgently required to control these diseases, regardless of future climate change."

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I do hope they start making vaccines

I hope that now the biomedical industry will seriously start full proper research into making vaccines for Dengue fever, Malaria and other tropical diseases. There has been little progress in dealing with these diseases.

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Coat

Decontam Chambers at Airports

Right I got the solution!

(It may cost a bit and not be that effective but the CDC and DHS will love it)

Basically all airports have decontamination hallway just after they get searched. In envisage lots of strong UV light, lots of vacuum, blower pressure systems, copper alloys everywhere and super expensive and very inaccurate testing machines.

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Silver badge
Flame

"Dr Paul Reiter"

"In truth, the principal determinants of transmission of malaria and many other mosquito-borne diseases are politics, economics and human activities."

Oh shit! A self-evident truth at six o'clock!

Come clear, AC - you just wanted to reaffirm your manly stance against Climate Change, right?

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Coat

@ Llanfair

Doh!

Thats because up until now only small numbers of rich people were at risk. Poor people after all are not that profitable enough to justify the expense of large scale research. I mean Malaria kills 2 million poor people a year and rich people can travel safely with short term drugs. Where's the incentive in that?

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Pirate

Having *had* Dengue Fever...

I can assure you that even the non-haemorrhagic version is no joke; 4kg a day weight loss for a few days and about four months before I was functioning full time again.

The outbreak when I caught it - in Rio - affected a hundred thousand people though few died as an immediate result.

And I'm still not immune to the other three flavours...

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Alien

@Anonymous Coward re quarantine, research motivation

My mother picked up dengue in Singapore, it took her a year to get over it; longer if you count the reminiscing. The isolation idea should polish off air travel then. No big loss, IMHO.

The second point, about motivation, is complex. The company I work at provides WHO with the current combination malaria therapy at cost, a major logistics project. It has also a research centre into dengue and other tropical diseases in Singapore. Research pride, hoped-for spill-overs, loss-leaders and good citizenship all contribute, as well as profits, I suggest.

Those fighting epidemic diseases have a depressingly counter-intuitive set of priorities - they live in a strange world, poor chaps. CDC, one of the citations in a good wiki article, blames poor infrastructure from uncontrolled urban growth, deteriorating public health infrastructure, passive health surveillance systems, panic mentality, unwitting GPs, increased travel, ineffective mosquito control - but not global warming or lack of research.

There are increased rates of fatal complications if you catch a second strain of dengue, and, if I recall correctly, the strains are getting nastier too.

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Pirate

@ David Tonhofer re Reiter

I think your comment is pretty typical of the ability of climate change fanatics to comprehend information, generally " I don't care what it says because I know what it means" (The same applies to literal bible readers)

If you know anything about Reiter and his published works and his submissions to many different political bodies (IPCC included) you would know he has stating the exact opposite to what you have interpreted.

His 'human activity" refers to deforestation, disruption to water and drainage systems, war, poverty, urbanization and many more. He is specific that climate is not a major factor compared to these other human factors.

The difference between his stated and argued opinion and your one liner witticism that is he is the top expert in his field, and you are an expert in what?

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Pirate

Vaccine will not be easy

Llanfair - They've been working on the vaccines for years - at least since before WWII - but it's a difficult virus. They had a killed-virus vaccine years ago, then took it off the market when the problems showed up.

The Problem: You can immunize anyone against any one of the dengue variants. Unfortunately, should that person contract one of the three remaining variants, they are far more likely to have a really serious case or die. The same holds true for anyone who has had a natural infection. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_antigenic_sin for details.

The current research is trying to produce a multi-strain vaccine from bits of the virus coats, but it only infects primates. One hihgly inbred (think rare and hard to breed more of them) strain of mice might be usable, but those tests are still underway.

Right now, vector control is the best preventive.

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Joke

@Having *had* Dengue Fever...

"4kg a day weight loss for a few days"

I know it's not a laughing matter, but I could do with contracting that for 3-5-days...

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Global warming causing dengue spread?

There are accounts of dengue in the UK in the 18th and 19th centuries, significantly in East Anglia, but even as far as Scotland. People born by the coast developed some natural immunity, but spouses obtained from further inland often did not survive very long when taken home. This was the time when Europe was emerging from the Little Ice Age, and generally cooler than now.

I suppose it means that the Insect Overlords want to do a bit of culling - presumably because the global warmingers haven't got their population control program together yet.

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Singapore

Talk to the Singaporeans. They had a rough time with dengue last year, having gotten it under control a few years ago. At this stage, given the lack of good treatments for dengue fever, prevention is the key. Empty out those water-filled plant pots and get some nets for your bed at night.

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Flame

@ AC with the Doh!

Hence the question. Maybe now they will actually start to deal with treating those diseases. I know people who live in those areas and one person who had Malaria a year ago. That person has been undergoing treatment many times to reduce the effects. If there was a simple cure for it, then people would not need to constantly go to different doctors all the time.

These diseases are nasty diseases and kill millions, yet cancer which does not affect as many has millions of pounds poured into it every year. I am not against treatment for cancer, but there seems to be so many cancer charities, I just wonder how much money is actually being spent on research. I wish some of the money could be spent on researching into diseases that cause death to millions every year like Malaria, Dengue Fever and others. The people it affects are human beings, but they do not have the resources to carry out much research into it.

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@Llanfair

A lot of infectious diseases are seen as a third world problem.....ie poor governments who will not pay for expensive drugs. As a result of this, a lot of the bigger drug companies steer clear of working on these areas. They can make a lot more money selling cancer treatments to the first world instead.

Thankfully, some companies do appear forward thinking. For example, Novartis has set up an infectious disease research facility in Singapore (http://www.nitd.novartis.com/) that plans to offer drugs against a few infectious diseases at cost. Whether they actually succeed is another matter, but they appear to be sinking a fair amount of time and resources into the venture. Maybe some of the other large companies will follow suit. Dengue spreading to the first world should help focus their minds a little. If they think they can make a healthy profit by selling treatments in the west, then they will work on it. Their shareholders will insist.

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Flame

not unexpected

as illegal immigration increases, third world epidemics increase. Texas, Arizona, California, all seeing resurgences of polio, smallpox, and just about everything else that the banana republics and dictatorships of South and Central America can force their citizens to endure in squalor.

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Pirate

We are all going to die..

...I tell you.

Need more toxic buttons

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