UK’s London could experience endemic dengue transmission by 2060: UK health body

London. Health experts warn London may witness endemic dengue transmission by 2060. Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

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IBNS: Health officials on Monday warned climate modelling under a high emissions scenario suggests that parts of England might become home to Aedes albopictus mosquito, which is capable is spreading dengue, by 2040s and 2050.

The UK Health Security Agency released the Health Effects of Climate Change (HECC) report which showed the impact of climate change on health.

The health body said London could experience endemic dengue transmission by 2060.

It is the first report of its kind produced since 2012.

It demonstrates that the evidence base on the health effects of climate change has grown significantly, with health threats from heat, mosquitos, flooding and food security becoming more significant in the near future.

The report showed climate change may also increase heat-related deaths in the country.

“This report examines the future relationship between temperature and mortality in climate change. Using a high-emissions scenario, UK-heat related deaths are estimated to increase by one and a half times in the 2030s and by 12 times by 2070,” the UK Health Security Agency said in a statement.

“Under the same scenario, cold-related deaths are also projected to increase for a period before declining, with deaths from extreme cold declining by the mid-century, and deaths from moderate cold peaking around the same time and seeing a decline by the 2070s,” the statement said.

Speaking about possible rise in mosquito-related disease, the health body warned: “Climate modelling under a high emissions scenario suggests that Aedes albopictus – a mosquito species that can transmit dengue fever, chikungunya virus and zika virus – has the potential to become established in most of England by the 2040s and 2050s while most of Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of the Scottish Lowlands could also become suitable habitats later on in the century.”

Lea Berrang Ford, Head of Centre for Climate and Health Security at UKHSA, said: “The evidence is clear – climate change is not solely a future health threat. Health impacts are already being felt domestically and globally, and these risks will accelerate.”

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the goal of limiting warming to below 1.5°C (no higher than 2°C), a figure that is widely expected to be exceeded in the next 5 to 10 years.

Current global actions and policies to reduce or remove greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere put us on a collective trajectory closer to 2°C to 3°C warming, with projections of over 4°C considered a plausible worst-case scenario.