12 MARCH 1998. WORLD: DISEASE

CNN reports that ENSO is expected to increase the chance of bubonic plague in California, where heavy rains had increased vegetation and rodent populations, leading to increased flea populations, the vectors of plague. Warmer winter temperatures in the U.S. may also have allowed larger mosquito populations to overwinter, raising the spectre of encephalitis, malaria and dengue fever. Hanta virus which first came to light following an earlier El Nino, may also make a resurgence in the southwest, as Peromyscus populations respond to increased food.

Back to The 1997 El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO 97-98)