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Mosquito spread diseases may endanger millions in new places due to climate change | Society

Half a billion more people could be at risk from mosquito-transmitted diseases within 30 years as a result of the warming climate, according to a new study.

Canada and parts of Northern Europe could be exposed to the threat , Zika, dengue and chikungunya, as well as other emerging diseases.

The study, published in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, finds that humans could prevent the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes

Sadie Ryan, a co-author from the University of Florida, said the study and the maps it produced could help policymakers and their medical professionals understand where the bugs and their diseases might move.

"As you move into a hotter world, the places that are really hot are going to have all kinds of other vulnerabilities with them," Ryan said.

Currently, a little more than six billion people are in climates where the two are mosquitoes studied live for a month or more each year.

One of the mosquitoes studied, the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti thrives in a warm climate. But another, the tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus prefers it cooler. So the researchers determined what different levels of rising temperatures would mean for the spread of both.

Places where people have never had the disease, especially when they are not prepared, they are not prepared, Ryan said. In 201

6, Zika swept through Southern Florida, threatening pregnant women who could contract the disease and present themselves with significant birth defects.

People who contract diseases from mosquitoes spreading them further. An expanded range for mosquitoes could enhance that process.

"You might not think about the midwest at this point for potential mosquitoes, but what if people are landing in Chicago?" Ryan said. "Every year we see little bits of malaria showing up in the [US]we see little bits of dengue popping up."

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