Mosquito-borne diseases become climate reality in warming Pacific

Disease surveillance by the WHO shows mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever are rising sharply.

A researcher at a mosquito control laboratory in Brisbane She is wearing a white lab coat and latex gloves and is putting a mosquito into a tube
Experts say countries need to invest in new ways to control mosquitoes [Courtesy of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute]

By Catherine Wilson

Published On 22 Feb 202322 Feb 2023

Climate change forecasters have warned for years that the warmer and wetter world created by the climate crisis will drive a surge in mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever.

Experts say that in the Pacific Islands, such predictions are now becoming a reality.

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Perilous Pathogens: How Climate Change Is Increasing the Threat of Diseases

Climate change is creating many pathways for zoonotic diseases to reach people. Four cases show how the climate crisis is altering disease threats and how the world can respond.

Article by Claire Klobucista and Lindsay Maizland November 4, 2022 4:12 pm (EST)

THAILAND: Infectious-disease researchers catch bats to study. Adam Dean/New York Times/Redux

The world is already witnessing the consequences of human-caused climate change, including hotter temperatures, rising sea levels, and more frequent and severe storms. What’s harder to see are climate change’s effects on the spread of disease: on the mosquito that carries a virus, or the pathogenic bacteria on a piece of fruit.

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Dengue fever a growing threat in Asia

A World Mosquito Program project staff member hangs a mosquito-box from a tree in Colombo, Sri Lanka. | WORLD MOSQUITO PROGRAM

A World Mosquito Program project staff member hangs a mosquito-box from a tree in Colombo, Sri Lanka. | WORLD MOSQUITO PROGRAM

For Kasun Chameera, who lives in Sri Lanka’s densely populated capital Colombo, dengue fever is a disease which has afflicted many loved ones, including his brother.

“We fear death when we hear about dengue,” Chameera said. “It’s present almost everywhere in my district, and spreads faster in the city than in the villages.”

His brother “suffered a lot from it,” Chameera said. “For at least one to two months, he would be tired walking just 10 steps. We were very scared.”

Also known as breakbone fever because of the severe pain it can cause, the disease is a growing threat across Asia, where 70% of the world’s dengue cases occur. The virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of the female aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which thrive in both tropical and subtropical urban areas.

Worldwide, it is estimated to infect about 390 million people every year, with more than half of the global population now at risk.

Recent weeks have seen soaring cases in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, despite the peak season usually lasting from June to October. Reported cases in Singapore topped the 10,000 mark in the first five months of this year, already exceeding the 5,258 cases reported in all of 2021.

In Japan, 461 cases were reported in 2019 — mainly found in travelers from Asian countries. But with the borders effectively closed during the pandemic, the number of cases dropped to 43 and eight in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

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58% of human infectious diseases can be worsened by climate change – we scoured 77,000 studies to map the pathways

Published: August 8, 2022 4.00pm BST

Climate change can exacerbate a full 58% of the infectious diseases that humans come in contact with worldwide, from common waterborne viruses to deadly diseases like plague, our new research shows

Our team of environment and health scientists reviewed decades of scientific papers on all known pathogenic disease pathogens to create a map of the human risks aggravated by climate-related hazards.

The numbers were jarring. Of 375 human diseases, we found that 218 of them, well over half, can be affected by climate change.

Flooding, for example, can spread hepatitis. Rising temperatures can expand the life of mosquitoes carrying malaria. Droughts can bring rodents infected with hantavirus into communities as they search for food.

With climate change influencing more than 1,000 transmission pathways like those and climate hazards increasingly globally, we concluded that expecting societies to successfully adapt to all of them isn’t a realistic option. The world will need to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change to reduce these risks.

Monkeypox and the gay community

The New York Times newsletter

This weekend marks the end of Pride month, as cities across the country host events to celebrate the L.G.B.T.Q. community.
It is also a fraught moment in public health: A global outbreak of monkeypox is causing concern, with many of the cases clustered around men who have sex with men.
Experts are now trying to strike a delicate balance, warning people who may be at higher risk, without stigmatizing a community that has often been scapegoated for health scares in the past.

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Singapore’s dengue ’emergency’ is a climate change omen for the world

By Heather Chen, CNN

Updated 0213 GMT (1013 HKT) June 7, 2022

A worker fogs a housing estate for mosquitoes in Singapore on August 27, 2020.

A worker fogs a housing estate for mosquitoes in Singapore on August 27, 2020.

(CNN)Singapore says it is facing a dengue “emergency” as it grapples with an outbreak of the seasonal disease that has come unusually early this year.

The Southeast Asian city-state has already exceeded 11,000 cases — far beyond the 5,258 it reported throughout 2021 — and that was before June 1, when its peak dengue season traditionally begins.

Experts are warning that it’s a grim figure not only for Singapore — whose tropical climate is a natural breeding ground for the Aedes mosquitoes that carry the virus — but also for the rest of the world. That’s because changes in the global climate mean such outbreaks are likely to become more common and widespread in the coming years.

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Vietnam an easier destination after return to pre-COVID rules

A Nikkei reporter reflects on a milestone in the country’s path out of pandemic

Roadblocks in Ho Chi Minh City were common in October, but now Vietnam has eliminated almost all COVID restrictions for foreign and domestic travel. (Photo by Lien Hoang)

LIEN HOANG, Nikkei staff writerMay 24, 2022 12:23 JST NIKKEI

HO CHI MINH CITY — Last week after a trip to California, I returned to Vietnam with a COVID vaccine certificate, negative PCR test and smartphone tracing app in hand. The green-uniformed immigration officer at the airport asked for none of it. Inside his plexiglass cage, the 20-something officer gestured for me to pull down my mask for a second. I spent less than a minute and zero words at passport control and then was back outside on the balmy, car horn-filled streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

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Lawmakers reveal mixed thoughts over $15 bln stimulus package

By Hoai Thu, Hoang Thuy   January 5, 2022 | 04:30 pm GMT+7 vnexpressLawmakers reveal mixed thoughts over $15 bln stimulus packageA man prepares food inside an eatery in Hanoi, December 26, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Chieu

Lawmakers have expressed mixed opinions on the government’s VND347 trillion ($15 billion) stimulus package, with some urging for more cash while others worry about inflation.

“We plan to provide a large amount through fiscal policy but the amount through monetary policy is not meeting expectations from businesses and the people,” said Trinh Xuan An, a member of the National Assembly’s National Defense and Security Committee.

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86 percent of Covid patients in HCMC hospitals are vaccinated: survey – 86% ca nhiễm tại TP HCM đã tiêm vaccine

By Thu Anh   November 5, 2021 | 09:33 am GMT+786 percent of Covid patients in HCMC hospitals are vaccinated: surveyA doctor takes care of a coronavirus patient in HCMC’s Thu Duc City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh TranAround 86 percent of people hospitalized with Covid-19 in HCMC have been vaccinated at least once, a survey by its Department of Health found.

The survey began on Tuesday at hospitals, deputy director of the city Department of Health, Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, said.

Of the remaining 14 percent, 90 percent are children under 18, and were found mostly at industrial parks and quarantine zones around the city, he said.

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Biden’s Covid Summit

New York Timses newsletter

At the opening of a virtual Covid-19 summit organized with the U.N., President Biden called on world leaders, pharmaceutical executives, philanthropists and civil society organizations to forge a global consensus around a plan to fight the coronavirus crisis.

“We need to go big,” Biden said. “It’s an all-hands-on-deck crisis.”

The president pointed to two especially urgent challenges: vaccinating the world and solving a global oxygen shortage, which is leading to unnecessary Covid deaths. Tiếp tục đọc “Biden’s Covid Summit”

What Vietnam needs to produce Covid vaccines under license

By Viet Anh    May 29, 2021 | 09:00 am GMT+7Vietnam should standardize manufacturing facilities and get expertise if it wants to make Covid-19 vaccines, experts have said.

Professor Thomas Preiss of the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, said the production of mRNA vaccines is a new technology and involves several distinct steps.

Preiss said mRNA is the basis for certain Covid vaccines like those made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, while AstraZeneca uses the viral vector technology.

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Huy động mọi nguồn lực mua vắc xin

30/05/2021 09:06 GMT+7100Lưu

TTO – Phải vận dụng mọi biện pháp để tiếp cận, huy động nguồn lực hợp pháp mua vắc xin. Người dân, doanh nghiệp, các cơ quan, tổ chức và địa phương có thể đóng góp ý kiến, phương pháp, tiền của và phát huy các mối quan hệ để mua vắc xin.

Huy động mọi nguồn lực mua vắc xin - Ảnh 1.

Thủ tướng Phạm Minh Chính yêu cầu các bộ ngành kịp thời tháo gỡ khó khăn cho các địa phương, nhất là các địa phương trọng điểm, với phương châm “ba không” – không nói thiếu tiền, không nói thiếu nguồn nhân lực và không nói thiếu thể chế – Ảnh: VGP

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Three keys to fight against Covid-19 in Vietnam

21/05/2021    06:00 GMT+7 Vietnamnet

Along with the 5K message, Vietnam is strictly implementing three counterattacks: large-scale testing; implementation of a vaccine strategy; and application of technology for Covid-19 tracing.

On May 5, 2021, the new Government, headed by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, had a regular but special meeting after one month of operation.

Cabinet members spent most of the time discussing a huge challenge that Vietnam was facing: the new Covid-19 outbreak. At that time the pandemic was wreaking havoc in the neighboring countries. Thanks to effective solutions that were proven in the previous three waves of Covid, Vietnam was like an ‘oasis’ among surrounding countries that were being fiercely attacked by the epidemic.

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Taiwan manufacturers close factories in northern Vietnam due to COVID

Foxconn, Luxshare ordered to shut down production facilities after COVID outbreak

  By Ching-Tse Cheng, Taiwan News, Staff Writer2021/05/19 16:43

Foxconn logo (Reuters photo)

Foxconn logo (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese electronics manufacturers Foxconn and Luxshare Precision have been forced to temporarily shut down their factories in northern Vietnam due to rising coronavirus cases in the region.

According to Bloomberg, the Vietnamese government has instructed the two Apple suppliers to close down their production facilities in the northern province of Bac Giang due to a local COVID-19 outbreak. Le Anh Duong, chairman of Bac Giang People’s Committee, said Tuesday (May 18) that the measure will be in place for two weeks with the possibility of an extension.

Foxconn confirmed the report on Wednesday and stressed that the safety of employees remains its top priority. It added that enhanced epidemic preventive measures have been implemented at other factories in Vietnam, which will continue normal operations.

As of press time, Luuxshare has yet to respond publicly to the closures.

On Sunday, Bac Giang reported 187 new local COVID-19 infections, the highest single-day number registered since the start of the pandemic. The new cases included two workers at Luxshare’s plant in Van Trung Industrial Park. The total number of local cases in the province as of Tuesday afternoon is 474.