BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Dengue is a climate-sensitive infectious disease. Climate-based dengue early warning may be a simple, low-cost, and effective tool for enhancing surveillance and control. Scientific studies on climate and dengue in local context form the basis for advancing the development of a climate-based early warning system. This study aims to review the current status of scientific studies in climate and dengue and the prospect or challenges of such research on a climate-based dengue early warning system in a dengue-endemic country, taking Malaysia as a case study.
METHOD: We reviewed the relationship between climate and dengue derived from statistical modeling, laboratory tests, and field studies. We searched electronic databases including PubMed, Scopus, EBSCO (MEDLINE), Web of Science, and the World Health Organization publications, and assessed climate factors and their influence on dengue cases, mosquitoes, and virus and recent development in the field of climate and dengue.
RESULTS & DISCUSSION: Few studies in Malaysia have emphasized the relationship between climate and dengue. Climatic factors such as temperature, rainfall, and humidity are associated with dengue; however, these relationships were not consistent. Climate change projections for Malaysia show a mounting risk for dengue in the future. Scientific studies on climate and dengue enhance dengue surveillance in the long run.
CONCLUSION: It is essential for institutions in Malaysia to promote research on climate and vector-borne diseases to advance the development of climate-based early warning systems. Together, effective strategies that improve existing research capacity, maximize the use of limited resources, and promote local-international partnership are crucial for sustaining research on climate and health.
2016. Vol. 3, no 1