The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that a mosquito-borne disease killing thousands annually could become a significant threat, especially in the United States.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, the organization’s chief scientist, stated in an interview that dengue fever could establish itself in the southern U.S. and southern Europe by 2030.
This is due to rising temperatures, allowing disease-carrying mosquitoes to penetrate deeper into these regions and increasing disease cases.
Statistics show that dengue fever causes the death of 20,000 people each year, mostly in Asia and South America, with a mortality rate of one per 100 patients.
Scientists say dengue could become endemic in the U.S. if infected mosquitoes from Mexico move north, as reported by the British newspaper “Daily Mail.”
They also warned that infected travelers to the U.S. could transmit the virus if bitten by local mosquitoes, starting a new cycle of transmission.
Farrar told Reuters, “We need to talk more proactively about dengue fever and prepare countries for how to deal with the additional pressures that will come in the future in many major cities.”
Dengue outbreaks have already occurred in the U.S., albeit “small and relatively contained,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, experts warn the disease could spread more widely due to rising temperatures.