CNN Hypes False Dengue Fever Claims, Putting Climate Fears Ahead of Facts, Again

From ClimateREALISM

By H. Sterling Burnett

CNN published a story claiming climate change is causing the mosquito borne disease dengue fever to spread. This is false. As CNN’s own story notes, dengue bearing mosquitos are already endemic to the countries it discusses, causing thousands of illnesses and hundreds of deaths each year. Data does not support the claim that modest warming makes mosquitos more prone to breed, and thus increase their numbers, or spread diseases like dengue.

Heather Chan, the author of a CNN story, titled “Singapore’s dengue ’emergency’ is a climate change omen for the world,” mixes facts and unsubstantiated speculation liberally throughout the report.

Singapore says it is facing a dengue “emergency” as it grapples with an outbreak of the seasonal disease that has come unusually early this year.

Experts are warning [the early high incidences of infection are] a grim figure not only for Singapore — whose tropical climate is a natural breeding ground for the Aedes mosquitoes that carry the virus — but also for the rest of the world. That’s because changes in the global climate mean such outbreaks are likely to become more common and widespread in the coming years.

To be clear, dengue fever is not a newly emergent disease. As described in a 2018 article in the journal Parasites and Vectors:

The earliest record of dengue comes from a Chinese medical encyclopedia dating back to 992 BC. Moreover, before the end of the 18th century, intermittent epidemics of a specific disease with a strong similarity to dengue occurred in Asia and the Americas; therefore, there is a hypothesis that between the 19th and 20th centuries, the virus probably spread throughout the tropics and subtropics.

So dengue is not new, rare, or being found in countries it hasn’t been recorded in for hundreds of years, nor is the species of mosquito that carries it, Aedes Aegypti.

The number of dengue fever infections, in Singapore and the 100 other countries where Aedes Aegupti is endemic and thrives, wax and wane each year. In Singapore, for instance, CNN reports, in 2021 5,258 cases were reported, whereas in 2020 the country experienced 35,315.

There is no evidence that the modest rise in temperature Singapore or other countries have experienced in recent decades makes mosquito’s more prolific breeders or more likely to become hosts for dengue fever and other vector borne diseases the mosquitos have hosted throughout the earth’s history, like malaria, the West-Nile, and Zika.

Nor, contrary to the claims made in the CNN report, is there evidence weather has become more extreme in tropical countries as a result of climate change, resulting in more disease carrying mosquitos. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent 6th Assessment report finds limited evidence of increases in extreme weather events, and even less evidence linking changes in weather trends to human activities.

As repeatedly discussed at Climate Realism, herehere, and here, for example, and as detailed in Chapter Four of Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels, the vast body of scientific literature refutes CNN’s claim that climate change is likely to exacerbate the spread of mosquito borne diseases, like dengue fever.

Indeed, studies from Africa, to England and Wales, to North and South America, to Thailand and beyond refute any link between climate change and the spread of malaria, Dengue fever, West Nile virus, and other vector-borne diseases. For example, a 2010 study in the peer-reviewed journal Nature reports, “[The study’s authors] compared historical and contemporary maps of the range and incidence of malaria and found endemic/stable malaria is likely to have covered 58% of the world’s land surface around 1900 but only 30% by 2007.” In short, despite warming, vector borne diseases like dengue and malaria have become less prevalent and deadly as the climate has warmed.

The same paper rebuts potential assertions that there would be even further reductions in vector borne diseases but for global warming. The authors wrote, “widespread claims that rising mean temperatures have already led to increases in worldwide malaria morbidity and mortality are largely at odds with observed decreasing global trends in both its endemicity and geographic extent.”

World health authorities should fight dengue fever. Evidence suggests that trying to prevent climate change as a way to reduce incidences of dengue fever will be waste of time and resources. A few degrees change in temperature does not make mosquitos friskier or more disease laden. As was true with malaria; killing mosquitos, eliminating their breeding grounds, disrupting their breeding cycles, and developing medicines that prevent dengue infection or that reduce the harm resulting when dengue is contracted is the best hope to minimize or eliminate this all too often deadly disease.

H. Sterling Burnett

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is managing editor of Environment & Climate News and a research fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute. Burnett worked at the National Center for Policy Analysis for 18 years, most recently as a senior fellow in charge of NCPA’s environmental policy program. He has held various positions in professional and public policy organizations, including serving as a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Task Force in the Texas Comptroller’s e-Texas commission.

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June 9, 2022 2:07 pm

Dengue fever is endemic to Mexico among other countries. I know a guy who had it. Not fun.

Reply to  Owen
June 9, 2022 3:09 pm

You probably know people that had in South America, easily. Definitely not a fun disease, even worse when you get a second or third time.

Tom Halla
June 9, 2022 2:08 pm

On considering “tropical” diseases, there was an outbreak of yellow fever in Philadelphia during the Washington administration. Which was during the Little Ice Age.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Tom Halla
June 9, 2022 3:27 pm

People tend to forget that in temperate climates there was still summer even during the LIA. When Washington was President, Philadelphia was the capital. The present Philly temperature range average in F is 28-41 in January, and 72-89 in July. And global catastrophe is supposedly +1.5C (2.7F)??? A joke.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 9, 2022 11:21 pm

Probably the best thing about living in a northern climate is that the cold kills the bugs for about 4 or 5 months straight.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Tom Halla
June 10, 2022 5:45 am

Malaria known as ‘marsh fever’, ‘agues’, or ‘tertian fevers’, was endemic in England, mainly the south and east but also Yorkshire and Lancashire. It was only eliminated in the 20th century when marshes and bogs were drained.
I’m expecting a return of mosquito borne diseases as rewilding and re-marshing takes hold and the population of marsh living insects increases beyond the tipping point

Ed Norman
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
June 11, 2022 11:23 am

Many men died from malaria during the building of the Rideau canal system in the early 19th century. And that was here in Eastern Ontario, Canada! It was rather colder then than now, and no one here gets malaria nowadays.

Rud Istvan
June 9, 2022 3:14 pm

This sort of ‘medical climate change mosquito crisis’ nonsense goes back to at least 1996 in none other than JAMA. The alarm then was spread of malaria caused by global warming enabled mosquitoes. The ‘fact basis’ was two malaria cases in NYC. What the JAMA article did NOT say was that both were in airline transported visitors from central Africa, where malaria is endemic.

I exposed this class of nonsense, with footnotes, in essay ‘False Alarms’ in ebook Blowing Smoke 8 years ago. The Alarmists keep trying the same old, only to repeatedly embarrass themselves as here.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 9, 2022 4:59 pm

Malaria was common in the state of New York prior to efforts to control mosquitoes were wide spread.

Gerry, England
Reply to  MarkW
June 10, 2022 5:48 am

The Netherlands was only free of malaria by the early 70s.

June 9, 2022 4:10 pm
June 9, 2022 4:25 pm

How Was This Missed?

Hugh victory for scientific truth, and empirical proof for scientific fraud…

The revised Second Law of Thermodynamics, where ‘back radiation’ (the foundation upon which ‘climate change’ stands) is present in the Earth’s Energy Budget…

…and missing is the ‘back radiation’ for the incoming radiation (77.1 Wm2) that’s directly absorbed by the atmosphere. Opps!

The follow NASA graph of the ‘Earth’s Energy Budget’ follows the Second Law of Thermodynamics* before that law was updated…
* The reason NASA couldn’t have ‘back radiation’ for that 77.1Wm2 is because any ‘back radiation’ would constitute Sunlight being emitted downwards by the atmosphere! In other words, planets would also be a source of Sunlight, not just stars. 

Let’s Explain…

The 77.1 Wm2 absorbed by the atmosphere is UV radiation. When the electrons that absorb that radiation return to their normal energy levels by emitting the absorbed radiation, a portion of the energy is lost in the process, whereby the energy emitted is now less than that absorbed. In this particular scenario, the energy emitted would be Sunlight, because Sunlight is the next lower energy level on the electromagnetic spectrum.

June 9, 2022 4:32 pm

Viruses? Like ‘climate change’, they don’t exist, as the following proves…

“In order to confirm the newly discovered method of so-called “virus propagation”, in order to see whether it was not the method itself causing or falsifying the result, the scientists would have had to perform additional experiments, called negative control experiments, in which they would add sterile substances or substances from healthy people and animals to the cell culture. This, of course, to check whether it is not the method itself that yields or falsifies the results. These control experiments have never been carried out by the official “science” to this day. During the measles virus trial, I commissioned an independent laboratory to perform these control experiments and the result was that the tissues and cells die, due to the laboratory conditions, in the exact same way as when they come into contact with allegedly “infected” material. The entire purpose of control experiments is to exclude the possibility that it is the applied method or technique which may cause the result. Control experiments, then, are the highest duty in science and also the exclusive basis of claiming that one’s conclusion is scientific.” — — Dr. Stefan Lanka

A comprehensive discussion on the virus fraud between Dr. Stefan Lanka and Dr. Tom Cowan…

The following video explains why viruses are exosomes, and what are exosomes…

The following interview of Dr. Stefan Lanka explains what are measles, and why measles erupt…

June 9, 2022 4:56 pm

Even the IPCC notes that because of the overlap between the absorption spectra of H2O and CO2, CO2 will have very little impact on tropical areas.

Can’t these guys be consistent with their own bible?

Walter Sobchak
June 9, 2022 5:36 pm

Mosquito vectored diseases such as Dengue and Malaria have been common all over the world even in places that are usually cold. Malaria was endemic in Russia and in the US Great Lakes region. The way to prevent pandemics of these diseases is to drain the “ecologically important wetlands” (newspeak for malaria swamps), something the Green Meanies will fight tooth and nail against.

The Romans who knew nothing of the germ theory of disease drained swamps in the Po River Valley of Northern Italy to create productive farmlands and had no problem with Malaria. In the middle ages the drainage works fell into ruin and the area turned epidemic with malaria. In the late 19th and early 20th century drainage returned and the malaria went away.

We will have neither peace nor prosperity until the last lawyer is strangled with the entrails of the last environmentalist.

Tropical diseases have nothing to do with temperature. They are the result of poverty and bad government.

John I Reistroffer
June 9, 2022 6:02 pm

Too bad they banned DDT.
Dengue is endemic in Venezuela along with a bunch of other mosquito borne diseases such as Chikungunya, Malaria and occasional breakouts of yellow fever.
When I was in junior HS in Caracas there was a reported breakout of yellow fever and jugs of
serum were brought to our school and all of us kids lined up and got our shot.
30 years later I heard the real story. An alcoholic visitor to Venezuela from Holland apparently
died from a bad liver. So his family could save face, the doctor wrote down the cause of death as Yellow fever which in both diseases the skin color turns a yellowish color. Thus we all had to get our shots.
DDT controls the mosquitos which carry these diseases. By it’s banning, the world population is subject to these mosquito-borne diseases.

Reply to  John I Reistroffer
June 9, 2022 11:28 pm

Banning DDT was criminal negligence.

Andy Pattullo
June 9, 2022 7:30 pm

As an academic Infections Disease physician I teach about vector borne disease trends and the messages in this report remain part of what I teach about the lack of climate change influence on most vector borne diseases. What is surprising is that even among fellow academics the reality of this is not familiar but the propaganda is well known and often even repeated by academics. Limes disease is another one where claims of global warming as a cause of increasing case counts are made continually. The reality is the areas of highest prevalence of Lyme disease in Eastern US and Canada have seen cooling during the period of rising incidence. The real causes of the spread are the reversion of farm land back to forest as small early farms are abandoned, the resurgence of white tailed dear (an intermediate host of the bacteria) after being nearly wiped out locally in the 18th century by hunting and land clearing, and the increasing local human populations with more frequent interaction with endemic wild spaces.Warming has nothing to do with these changes.

Geoff Sherrington
June 9, 2022 8:37 pm

On 4th May 2020, the Medical Journal of Australia published online “Acting on climate change and health in Victoria” by Brett Sutton, Vanora Mulvenna, Daniel Voronoff and Tiernan Humphrys. (Med J Aust 2020; 212 (8): 345-346.e1. || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50527. The four authors were from the Department of Health and Human Services, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne).

The paper noted tropical ailments that were said to be increased or increasing because of climate change. For example, Ross River virus disease. Sutton et al claimed that –
Following the 2016–2017 Victorian floods, there was a large increase in mosquitos, which resulted in a 7.5‐fold increase in Ross River virus disease compared with the previous year.
By letter, I requested that the Chief Health Officer Dr Sutton retract this paper because of speculation presented as science. For Ross River Virus, I quoted from a paper by Tall et al.
“Ross River virus (RRV) disease is the most common and widespread mosquito-borne disease in Australia, resulting in considerable health and economic cost to communities. While naturally occurring nontidal flood events may enhance mosquito abundance, little is known about the impact of such events on RRV transmission … Overall, the evidence to support a positive association between flooding and RRV outbreaks is largely circumstantial, with the literature mostly reporting only coincidental occurrence between the two”.
My request for retraction involved several examples of science in conflict. Apart from a few secretarial comments, the request to retract was ignored.

Dr Sutton was deeply involved with Covid-19 policy and action, again with some controversy reported in the popular press.   Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
June 16, 2022 12:21 am

“The paper noted tropical ailments that were said to be increased or increasing because of climate change . For example , Ross River Virus disease ” ..Several days ago, as I was composing this response on my computer, my home internet service was disconnected and remained so for some time afterward . Allow me to continue . The abysmal , appallingly unprofessional Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Sutton , Mulvena et al paper made no such specific reference to “tropical ailments increasing ” nor did it define RRV as a tropical disease . That said , how the Sutton , Mulvena et al paper was cleared for publication is most puzzling unless the editorial team of the MJA are climate evangelists like Sutton himself . 8 of the 12 endnote sources reference …the Victorian DHHS per se and no reputable medical or science journals are cited such as PLOS Pathogens , Nature the Journal of Virology etc .

Reply to  Stuart Hamish
June 18, 2022 12:19 am

The Sutton , Mulvena publication ‘Acting on Climate Change and Health in Victoria ” should have been retracted .It is essentially an activist pamphlet .How could anyone trust the judgment and decision making of Dr. Brett Sutton in relation to management of the Covid 19 pandemic or indeed any health directives after reviewing the preposterous pseudoscience and ambiguous contradictory assertions in this excerpt : ” The climate crisis is a fundamental threat to public health ,and Victoria is experiencing significant impacts from events which are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change. For example : *the 2009 Victorian heatwave resulted in 374 excess estimated deaths and a 12% increase in public health emergency department presentations [ compared with the 5 year average ] ………………* the 2014 Victorian heatwave resulted in 167 excess estimated deaths ,and resulted in 167 excess estimated deaths and …..a five fold increase in heat related public hospital emergency department presentations compared with what was expected …………….* following the 2016-2017 Victorian floods ,there was a large increase in mosquitoes ,which resulted in a 7.5% fold increase in Ross River virus disease compared with the previous year “…………………If heatwave mortality is the preferred measure for “events which are becoming more frequent and intense [ in Victoria ] due to climate change – as proposed in the text – how do the authors explain the significant decrease in heatwave mortality in 2014 compared to the higher death toll in 2009 ? What confused nonsense. Note too the moving the goalposts fallacy transposing a “five year average ” to ” compared with what was expected ” . What was expected ? This is a case of apples and oranges and one juxtaposed two year comparison confined to one state – as the authors surely must have known – is utterly meaningless Moreover the PERILAUS heatwave mortality chart identifies 2000 -2009 as the fifth worst [ the heatwave death tolls were higher for each of the decades between 1900 – 1939 ] of the Australian nationwide time series and the trendline is one of declining mortality. Are we supposed to believe the ridiculous idea Victoria is a climate change hot-spot ? Pertaining to the Ross River virus outbreaks the ” previous year ” is strangely not clarified [ 2016 or 2015 ? ] and a careful study of the RRV research literature and the Victorian Department of Health Ross River Virus website page raises more disconcerting questions about the “7.5% fold increase ” in RRV infections . If the ‘previous year” is 2016 the VDoH website mentions that ” Following the increased Victorian rainfall and floods there were 1967 notified cases in 2017 compared with 265 in 2016 “. Presumably this is the figure cited yet the wording implies 2015 is the “previous year ” .Now intriguingly ,the mosquito vector disease specialist and entomologist Cameron Webb stated that ” There are usually about 5000 cases across Australia .However in 2015 there was a major spike in activity with around 9000 cases reported “. So writing in 2017, Webb mentions 2016 was an average, not especially unusual RRV nationwide notifications year and 2015 [ seemingly the ” previous year ” was a peak RRV contagion year .Why did Sutton Mulvena et al fail to disclose this information and neglect to include a 70 or 50 year RRV morbidity timescale for scrutiny at least for Victoria ? Why did the editor of the MJA and the peer review panel fail to notice these sleight of hand deceptions evasions sloppy errors and absurdities ? As I remarked earlier , inexplicably 8 of the 12 end-note sources reference the Victorian Department of Health and the other four are ” Health Care Without Harm , the now defunct Climate Change Authority , National Public Health Partnership and the Bureau of Meteorology . No reputable science or medical journals .If you ever decide to renew your complaint to the MJA [ do not bother with the Victorian Department of Health ] Geoff Sherrington you are permitted to incorporate this information. You may have more success requesting not so much retraction as amendment of the publication

June 9, 2022 9:29 pm

I have lived and worked in both Singapore and Malaysia.
In Malaysia I was designing urban flood mitigation projects.
I regularly inspected polluted streams.
Surprise, surprise, I got Dengue. Very painful, in bed for one week then back to work.

The main contributing factor for reducing Dengue , is improved urban sanitation.
The main contributing factor for reducing Dengue symptoms is improved overall health (good nutrition for children)

Reply to  waza
June 10, 2022 1:43 am

The same with Indonesia. Poor education doesn’t help the problem. It makes it worse. Simply telling people to go around their houses and check for stagnant water would reduce this problem a great deal. But also the city should visit all these abandoned houses and check for such water which are breathing grounds for pests. I got it too.. no fun.

June 10, 2022 4:37 pm

Yes. Well…many of the things the green lobby use as an excuse for the fight to reduce emissions to stop climate change would be much more effectively solved by doing a myriad of things – with slowing down global warming likely to be the slowest and least effective thing to do. Just an inconvenient fact often overlooked by so many climate change accolytes.

Michael S. Kelly
June 11, 2022 9:02 pm

Glad to see that this is overblown. My wife and I had let our subscription to Parasites and Vectors lapse in 2017, along with Better Homes and Gardens, so I would never have realized that dengue was known as far back as 992 BC. But looking through my dusty old stacks of Chinese medical journals, I did indeed discover He, Yi “Dengue: Pandemic, or hype?” Rites of Zhou, vol. 12, no. 7, July 992 BC, which confirms it to be the truth.

Whew! Could’ve been another Wu!

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