Global Warming and Risk of Vivax Malaria in Great Britain
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Malaria (ague) was once common in many parts of Great Britain (GB). Here we identify areas currently at risk from vivax malaria and examine how this pattern may change as a consequence of global warming during this century. We used a mathematical model to describe how temperature affects the risk of vivax malaria, transmitted by a common British mosquito, Anopheles atroparvus. This model was linked with present-day temperature surfaces and future temperature change scenarios for GB, and used to map areas suitable for malaria transmission. We found an excellent agreement between the present-day risk map for malaria and historical records of ague distribution. This study demonstrates that many parts of GB are warm enough for malaria transmission and the extent of these areas are likely to increase in the future. Health services need to remain aware of the possibility of locally-transmitted malaria, particularly in marshland areas in southern England.
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