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Dr Rachel Sippy publishes commentary in Lancet Regional Health: The Americas

11 July 2023 Fellows

Dr Sippy’s commentary highlights findings on intense outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases in South America

Dr Rachel Sippy (Research Fellow of Clare Hall) had a commentary published last week in Lancet Regional Health: The Americas, highlighting the unprecedented rise in mosquito-borne diseases in the Southern Cone region of South America. She and co-authors call for coordinated effort among countries in the area to address the intense outbreaks of dengue and chikungunya in Chile, Argentina, and Paraguay.

In early 2023, Aedes aegypti (a mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses, among others) was detected in new locations, exposing thousands to these viral infections. Chile, Argentina, and Paraguay have each declared a public health emergency, as Argentina and Uruguay experience local spread of chikungunya for the first time. 

We are watching the impact of climate change in real time. The mosquitoes that spread dengue are very sensitive to temperature, and an increase of one or two degrees permits Aedes aegypti​ to settle in new habitats and infect people that likely have no immunity to these viruses. Controlling these mosquitoes requires intense eradication efforts with collaboration among the affected countries.

-Dr Rachel Sippy

The commentary included co-authors from institutions across Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, as well as the United States.