Mallory Harris

Stanford

“Measuring Cyclone Yaku’s contribution to the 2023 dengue outbreak in Latin America”

Anthropogenic climate change is increasing the likelihood and intensity of extreme weather events, which may catalyze outbreaks of climate-sensitive vector-borne diseases. In this study, we focus on Cyclone Yaku, a severe tropical cyclone in March 2023 that predominantly impacted warm, dry coastal regions in Ecuador and northern Peru. Cyclone Yaku may have contributed to the large dengue epidemic that followed by creating vector habitat through flooding, destroying infrastructure, and impeding vector control efforts. We examine the effects of Cyclone Yaku on dengue cases using generalized synthetic control methods that compare post-cyclone dengue dynamics in units affected by the cyclone to a matched control pool of unaffected regions with similar climatic and baseline dengue conditions. We find that the cyclone considerably increased dengue cases in affected regions in Peru through July by a factor of about 100. Quantifying the links between climate change and human health will inform efforts to understand the costs of fossil fuel emissions and adapt to changing risks.

ABSTRACT

Quantifying the links between climate change and human health will inform efforts to understand the costs of fossil fuel emissions and adapt to changing risks. Using a generalized synthetic control method, we find that Cyclone Yaku increased dengue cases in Peru by a factor of 10-100 from April through July of 2023.
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