Originally posted on TIME:
Malaria is one of the most common—and deadly—infectious diseases in the world, sickening more than 300 million people a year and killing over 600,000 people. But because it’s a mosquito-borne disease—the parasite that causes malaria is passed to human beings by mosquito bites—its range has been limited to warmer tropical areas, the so-called “malaria belt.” And even within tropical countries, altitude matters: the disease is much less common in tropical highlands, where colder temperatures slow down both the mosquito and the development of the parasite within it. It’s not for nothing that 19th century British colonists would build hill stations in malaria-prone countries like India, to escape both heat and disease.
So it’s not surprising either that scientists have been trying to find out for years whether climate change might expand the range of malaria, putting millions of people who live in tropical highlands at risk. Warmer temperatures should…
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