Malaria spreading to higher altitudes7th March 2014
During hotter years, those living in the highlands of Africa and South America are at an increased risk of catching the mosquito-borne disease.
This is according to a study, published in the journal Science. Prof Mercedes Pascual, representative of the University of Michigan (US) who carried out the study, said the “impact is very large”.
According to the latest estimates from the World Health Organisation, there were 207 million cases of malaria in 2012 and an estimated 627,000 deaths - most of those among children living in Africa.
Areas of higher altitudes have traditionally been places safe from this destructive disease. This may no longer be a haven. Ethiopia, for example, has nearly half of it population between the altitudes of 1,600m and 2,400m.
Scientists found that in warmer years, malaria shifted higher into the mountains, while in cooler years it was limited to lower elevations.
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