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El Niño Weather Phenomenon, Warming Climate Might Have Contributed To Zika Outbreak, Study Says

HealthDay News: Did El Niño Weather Give Zika a Boost?
“The weather phenomenon called El Niño might have aided the explosive spread of the Zika virus throughout South America, a new study reports. Climate patterns caused by El Niño could have increased reproduction rates in the mosquito species that carry the Zika virus and allowed those mosquitoes to live longer, researchers found…” (Thompson, 12/19).

Washington Post: El Niño on a warming planet may have sparked the Zika epidemic, scientists report
“…The [researchers’] model produced an unusually high disease transmission potential in the tropics for the year 2015, including in Colombia and Brazil, the countries hit hardest by Zika. Similar results occurred between 1997 and 1998, one of the only other times on record to experience such a brutal El Niño event. ‘[O]ur model indicates that the 2015 El Niño event, superimposed on the long-term global warming trend, has had an important amplification effect,’ the researchers note in the paper…” (Harvey, 12/19).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.