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Researchers from Georgia State and Arizona State University developed a mathematical model to study the impact of heavy rainfall events (HREs) such as hurricanes on the transmission of vector-borne infectious diseases in temperate areas of the world, including the southern coastal U.S. In the aftermath of this type of extreme weather event, the mosquito population often booms in the presence of stagnant water. At the same time, the breakdown of public and private health infrastructure can put people at increased risk of infection. The study, which was published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, found that the risk of a disease outbreak is highest if the HRE occurs early in the transmission season, or the period of time when mosquitos are able to pass on the virus to humans.
According to the study, an HRE that occurs on July 1 results in 70 percent fewer disease cases compared to an HRE that occurs on June 1.
Mosquitos - Terms - Ability - Ability - Individuals
"Mosquitos are very sensitive to temperature not only in terms of their ability to survive and reproduce, but also in their ability to infect individuals," said Gerardo Chowell, professor of mathematical epidemiology in the School of Public Health and lead author of the study. "The warmer it is, the faster an infected mosquito will be able to transmit the virus. Considering that mosquitos have an average lifespan of less than two weeks, that temperature difference can have a dramatic effect on disease outbreaks."
Population displacement can also affect the spread of vector-borne disease in a few ways, the researchers found. When people opt to leave the area, it reduces the number of local infections, while potentially increasing the number of infections elsewhere. However,...
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