Like many folks, we were astonished by the recent ProPublica / The Lens mapping work showing the tremendous loss of marshland in the Mississippi Delta and adjacent parts of the Gulf coast. There is an unholy alliance of factors responsible: the rise in sea level due to melting onshore glaciers and icepack, and thermal expansion of the ocean, two consequences of global warming; the natural, inexorable subsidence of the Delta as that huge pile of sediment compresses and sinks under it’s own awesome weight, actually depressing the Earth’s crust; the diversion of Mississippi River sediments away from the marshes and out into the Gulf, thanks to an impressive system of dams, levees, and pumps designed to control flooding and aid navigation; and the accelerated erosion of marshlands thanks to the criss-crossing network of ditches and canals dug willy-nilly by the oil and gas industry over many decades — the death by 1,000 cuts.
Since the start of the year countries in the PAHO region have reported almost 850,000 dengue infections, including 470 deaths, PAHO said in a press release. As of Sep 5, the area has reported more than 650,000 chikungunya cases, 37 of them fatal.
Both diseases are spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, present in most countries in the Americas.
The group said dengue prevention strategies can be applied to chikungunya, and it recommends beefing up efforts in six ways: patient care, social communication, surveillance, lab capacity, mosquito control, and environmental control.