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date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 14:58:52 -0500
from: JONATHAN PATZ <jpatzatXYZxyzph.edu>
subject: Press on our Climate/malaria paper coming out in tomorrow's
to: AGitheko@kisian.mimcom.net, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, jpatzatXYZxyzph.edu
BRAVO! Perfect balance and the right message! Article below was found at:
For others, FYI, attached are the galley proofs (pretty close to actual article).
11 Dec 2002 19:17 GMT
Scientists Question Climate Change, Malaria Link
By Patricia Reaney
LONDON (Reuters) - Climate change could be causing more than higher temperatures -- it may
also be helping to fuel a rise in malaria in East Africa, scientists said on Wednesday.
Cases of the mosquito-borne disease that kills about 3,000 people a day around the world
have surged in parts of the region during recent decades.
Earlier research had suggest the upsurge was due to drug resistance and population growth,
and not global warming.
But scientists in the United States and Britain say it may not be just a coincidence that
the rise in malaria parallels East African warming trends.
"We're not trying to say we have convincing and conclusive proof that climate change is
causing malaria but equally we don't agree with the previous authors," Professor Mike
Hulme, a climatologist at the University of East Anglia in England, said in an interview.
"We want to keep the door open that climate change might be causing the malaria increase."
LINK CANNOT BE RULED OUT
Hulme and medical epidemiologist Dr Jonathan Patz, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of
Public Health in Maryland, who published their findings in the science journal Nature, said
the data used in the previous research is not precise enough to rule out a link.
In an earlier study, Simon Hay of Oxford University and his colleagues concluded that the
temperature had not altered significantly enough during the past century to explain the
surge in malaria in some areas of East Africa.
"In principle there could well be a connection between a warming of climate and an
extension of malaria incidence in a population," said Hulme.
"At the moment we can't rule it out."
Hulme said temperatures have increased 0.15 degrees Celsius (around 0.25 F) per decade from
1970 to 1998 in regions of East Africa.
He called for more research and surveillance to identify exactly what it is that is causing
the increase in the disease.
Climate warming is thought to be a main contender because higher temperatures in the
highland regions of East Africa could extend the transmission season so more people would
be exposed to the malaria parasite.
Malaria is the world's deadliest tropical disease. It infects 300 million to 500 million
people a year and kills between one million and 2.7 million. Most are African children.
Although anti-malaria drugs are available, the malaria parasite has developed resistance to
many treatments. Mosquitoes which carry the parasite are becoming resistant to some
pesticides, so finding a malaria vaccine is a top public health priority.
Scientists believe the recent sequencing of the genetic maps of the malaria parasite and
the insect that carries it will speed up the development of new treatments, as well as a
vaccine and better pesticides.
Attachment Converted: "c:\eudora\attach\1491a_patz_galley.pdf"
Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor and Director
Program on Health Effects of Global Environmental Change
Dept. Environmental Health Sciences
Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health
615 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21205-2179