Climate change could expose 1 billion more people to bug-borne diseases, study says

(CNN)About a billion more people might be exposed to mosquito-borne diseases as temperatures continue to rise with climate change, according to a new study.

As the planet gets warmer, scientists say, diseases like Zika, chikungunya and dengue will continue spreading farther north.
The authors of the new study, published Thursday in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, created a model that includes data on predicted temperature changes and the known range of the day-biting, disease-carrying mosquitoes Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti.
    Europe will probably see some of the biggest increases in diseases from both of these species, the researchers say. The United States, East Asia, high-elevation parts of central America, East Africa and Canada will also see large increases in risk for these diseases.
      The much warmer climates in Southeast Asia and West Africa will not be as suitable for the albopictus species.
      This study complements previous work on the link between climate change and bugs, well, bugging us to death. The Fourth National Climate Assessment, published by the US government in November, suggested that North America could see some of the largest increases in disease. Other reports have suggested that climate change could "halt and reverse" progress in human health over the past century.
      The cases of disease caused by mosquitoes have been increasing. A study in May found that tick- and mosquito-borne diseases have more than tripled since 2004 in the United States. About a sixth of the illnesses and disability cases worldwide come from these conditions, according to the World Health Organization; every year, a billion people are infected and more than a million die from them.
      The new study found that the number of people who will be at risk for these diseases in any month of the year will increase substantially by 2050, by about half a billion. By 2080, the number of people at risk in one or more months increases to nearly a billion more than currently expected.