Rise in Cases of Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya Predicted in Asia

A recent WHO briefing suggests this week that climate change is driving Aedes mosquito driven disease to areas where they did not exist earlier while they will rise in those parts of the world where they are endemic such as Southeast Asia. High precipitation, increased temperature and even scarcity of water favours the breeding of mosquitoes. The virus and the mosquitos multiply faster in higher temperatures.

This group of viruses are called as Arbovirus (arthropod-borne virus) that are transmitted to humans through blood feeding Aedes mosquitos.


It is the most common viral infection that spreads from mosquitos to people. The mosquito bites several people one after the other and as a result many get infected at a time. Generally, infected people show no symptoms but some show high fever, body ache, headaches, nausea and rashes. They get better in about a week or two while some get severe symptoms and may need hospital care. Some Dengue cases can be fatal.

The Dengue Virus has four serotypes each of which have different reactions with our antibodies. While the first infection with any of the four dengue serotypes can prevent reinfection by the same serotype for a long period, the second infection by a different serotype can cause severe disease. This is because the cross-protection offered by the first infection acts as a shield against other serotypes only for two-three years and then begins to drop, say scientists Dr Rahul Roy and others who conducted a recent study on evolution of Dengue Virus serotypes.

Easy prevention

  • Lower the risk of a Dengue infection by avoiding mosquito bites during the day.


It is a virus found in almost all continents and is spread by the bites of the Aedes mosquito. Chikungunya infection severely impacts the quality of life and causes chronic disabilities in humans. New-borns and senior members of society are at greater risk for severe forms of the disease. Those who are above 60 years of age and suffer from Diabetes, hypertension or are immunocompromised are at greater risk as are new-borns.

Easy prevention

  • Communities and human settlements must eliminate mosquito breeding sites in and around homes.
  • Use of mosquito repellent for personal protection and that of family members during the day; use of clothes that cover arms and legs.
  • The use of bed nets is strongly recommended for people staying in bed during the day in hospitals.


Zika is a virus spread by the bite of the Aedes mosquito during the day as well as sexually and from mother to the child in pregnancy.

The symptoms are mild fever, rashes, headache, muscle and joint pain and inflammation of the underside of the eyelid. They last for about 2-7 days; one should seek a doctor if they worsen. Pregnant women if infected must follow a doctor’s advice.

Easy Prevention

  •  Prevent breeding of mosquitos
  • Protect against mosquito bites to prevent Zika virus infection
  • Use insect repellent
  • Cover as much of the body as you can
  • Use physical barriers such as wire mesh  on doors and windows
  • Empty, clean or cover containers that can hold water to prevent mosquito breeding.
  ~ By our TEL reporter