Indian Ocean temperature could help predict the magnitude of global dengue epidemics

Temperature anomalies at the surface of the Indian Ocean could help predict the magnitude of global epidemics of dengue, according to a study published by Science.

An international team led by Beijing Normal University analyzed climate and global dengue incidence indicators from 1990 to 2019 in 46 countries in Southeast Asia and the Americas.

In this way, they modeled the associations between global climate patterns and the seasonal and interannual magnitude of dengue epidemics.

Although the authors consider that the findings could allow for more effective planning of the response to dengue outbreaks, they warn that further evaluations are necessary to assess the predictive performance of the model.

Current dengue early warning systems use climate indicators, such as rainfall and temperature, to predict disease trends.

The climatic phenomenon of The boy It is already known that it influences the dynamics of dengue transmission on a global scale by affecting the reproduction of mosquitoes, but the factors that influence long-distance outbreaks are not well known.

The researchers found that the Indian Ocean Basin-Wide Index (IOBW) – the regional mean of sea surface temperature anomalies – is “closely related to dengue epidemics in both the Northern and Western Hemispheres.” south”.

In the three months before the dengue season, this index is “a crucial factor in predicting the magnitude of the disease and the calendar of annual dengue outbreaks in each hemisphere,” summarizes Science.

The IOBW's ability to predict dengue incidence is likely due to its effect on regional temperatures, the study adds.

Dengue, a disease transmitted by mosquitoesaffects almost half of the world's population and currently there are no specific drugs or vaccines for it.

Outbreaks of this disease can have serious repercussions on public health and the economy, so the ability to predict the risk of occurrence and prepare accordingly is crucial for many regions where the disease is endemic.