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"One idea is to develop disease models that can use existing climate models to predict where these vectors will show up due to climate variability," she said."Applying these new models to areas that have pre-existing social vulnerabilities could identify susceptible regions, allowing us to direct healthcare resources there ahead of time." American Geophysical Union.The quake affected approximately 720,000 people, destroyed much of the region's sanitation and healthcare infrastructure, and resulted in a massive influx of displaced residents into urban areas.Sorensen and the study co-authors worked with the non-governmental organization Walking Palms Global Initiative to operate a mobile health clinic after the earthquake.Sorensen's team suspects that the combination of increased extreme events and long-term warming could lead to conditions that favor the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.The findings are important because of their applicability to recent events, like recent earthquakes in Mexico and hurricanes in the Caribbean and the U. Muñoz, a research associate at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.
The researchers suggest El Niño created ideal conditions for Zika-carrying mosquitos to breed and make more copies of the Zika virus.
Additionally, the El Niño event brought warmer sea-surface temperatures, which have been shown to correlate with outbreaks of mosquito-transmitted diseases.
Estimates from remote sensing data in coastal Ecuador show that sea-surface temperatures were higher than average from 2014-2016.
The authors studied the effects of short-term changes in Ecuador's climate, not long-term global warming patterns.
But extreme El Niño events such as the one observed in 2016 are projected to increase in frequency due to human-caused climate change.