Dengue To Cover Brazil and Mexico by 2039

Health worker fumigates dengue outbreaks in Brazil, 2024. Photo: X/ @Eduardo22066338


By: teleSUR English

June 10, 2024 Hour: 10:23 am

Researchers used AI to understand how connections between areas and environmental conditions interact.

A recent study published in the journal Nature Communications suggests that dengue will cover nearly all municipalities of Brazil and Mexico, the two largest Latin American countries, by 2039.

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Conducted with contributions from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, the U.S., Brazil, and Mexico, the research found that 97 percent of Brazilian municipalities and 81 percent of Mexican municipalities will be affected by dengue by 2039.

In Mexico, the expansion of dengue will occur mainly in the higher altitude areas of the central plateau. The Tijuana area will be affected between 2027 and 2030, and Mexico City between 2038 and 2039. In Brazil, most of the areas affected in the coming years will be in the south.

For the first time, researchers used artificial intelligence to understand how the connection between areas and environmental conditions interact at different stages of infection, said Vinyas Harish, a scientist at the University of Toronto (Canada).

“Many people have investigated environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and rainfall to establish the relationship between these characteristics and mosquitoes. But to really understand how dengue affects the population, we needed to integrate that with data on population mobility over time. We used machine learning to integrate these perspectives,” he said.

The data came from more than 8,000 municipalities in Brazil and Mexico over the past 25 years, along with climatic information, records of epidemic outbreaks, and the history of genetic evolution.

In 1996, only 16 municipalities in Mexico were affected by dengue infection. However, between 2000 and 2010, the infection spread to 965 municipalities. By the end of 2019, at least 1,350 municipalities were already affected.

In Brazil, the growth was similar. Between 2001 and 2019, the number of affected municipalities rose from 549 to 4,299, meaning 76.8 percent of Brazilian municipalities have had dengue cases.

Dengue is a febrile illness transmitted by the bite of a mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and can cause difficulty breathing, severe bleeding, and organ complications. Its spread is expected to accelerate in the coming years due to global warming and increased population mobility.

There is no specific medicine to treat dengue, which can be asymptomatic or present symptoms ranging from moderate fever to high, incapacitating fever, headaches, muscle pain, and rashes.

Source: EFE

teleSUR/ JF

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