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Climate Change Will Cause Outbreaks Of Dengue In Non-Vulnerable High-Altitude Areas, Study

ISLAMABAD: As a result of severe manifestations of accelerating global warming, environmental degradation, change in the monsoon weather pattern, and rising temperatures, Pakistan may see the spread of dengue outbreaks in non-vulnerable high-altitude locations.

Climate change has had a significant impact on the intensity and spread of dengue outbreaks, according to a study titled Modeling the impact of climate change on dengue outbreaks and future spatiotemporal shift in Pakistan by scientists and subject matter experts from the Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC), Health Services Academy (HSA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Geochemistry and Health.

The critical study uncovered a variety of findings indicating both an increase and a decrease in dengue outbreak situations.

The study’s goal was to use Representative Concentration Pathway scenarios to estimate the number of dengue transmission-suitable days (DTSD) in Pakistan for the baseline (1976-2005) and future years (2006-2035, 2041-2070, and 2071-2099).

Our findings also indicate that DTSD will expand throughout Pakistan, particularly in areas where we have never before observed dengue infections. The good news is that climate change is projected to reduce DTSD in high-risk cities in the future.

The study identified the top ten hotspot cities with a higher incidence of DTSD, which included Karachi, Hyderabad, Sialkot, Jhelum, Lahore, Islamabad, Balakot, Peshawar, Kohat, and Faisalabad, as well as a rise in disease during the baseline period (1976-2005).

The researchers were concerned about rising temperatures in the North due to the elevation-dependent shift in DTSD to high-altitude cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and the Federal Capital.

Kotli, Muzaffarabad, and Drosh, for example, were suggested in the 2020s; Garhi Dopatta, Quetta, and Zhob in the 2050s; and Chitral and Bunji in the 2080s. According to the report, Karachi, Islamabad, and Balakot will remain highly vulnerable to dengue outbreaks throughout the remainder of the twenty-first century.

The study also revealed potential spatiotemporal alterations and DTSD hotspots as a result of climate change.

With the exception of Sindh and South Punjab, the findings show that the baseline in the study area had greater DTSD during the monsoon season.

The outcomes of the study show that a temporal shift (extension) toward the pre- and post-monsoon seasons is expected in the future. Local governments were forced to implement adaptation and mitigation measures due to a temporal shift in the area during the post- and pre-monsoon season, which provides suitable hatching conditions for dengue mosquitos due to freshwater.

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