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The effect of climate change on yellow fever disease burden in Africa.

Abstract

Yellow Fever (YF) is an arbovirus endemic in tropical regions of South America and Africa and it is estimated to cause 78,000 deaths a year in Africa alone. Climate change may have substantial effects on the transmission of YF and we present the first analysis of the potential impact on disease burden. We extend an existing model of YF transmission to account for rainfall and a temperature suitability index and project transmission intensity across the African endemic region in the context of four climate change scenarios. We use these transmission projections to assess the change in burden in 2050 and 2070. We find disease burden changes heterogeneously across the region. In the least severe scenario, we find a 93.0%[95%CI(92.7, 93.2%)] chance that annual deaths will increase in 2050. This change in epidemiology will complicate future control efforts. Thus, we may need to consider the effect of changing climatic variables on future intervention strategies.

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