Bias In Climate Science Reporting Even In The Economist

The April 21, 2007 issue of the Economist had an interestiing article entitled

“Dengue Fever: A deadly scourge”

The article starts with

“Millions at risk as a new outbreak of dengue fever sweeps Latin America”

“There is no vaccine. There is also no good way to treat it—just fluids and the hope that the fever will break. At first it seems like a case of severe flu, but then the fever rises, accompanied by headaches, excruciating joint pain, nausea and rashes. In its most serious form, known as dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), it involves internal and external bleeding and can result in death. Fuelled by climate change, dengue fever is on the rise again throughout the developing world, particularly in Latin America.

Mexico identified 27,000 cases of dengue fever last year, more than four times the number in 2001. In El Salvador, whose population is not much more than 6% of Mexico’s, the number soared to 22,000 last year, a 20-fold increase on five years earlier. Uruguay recently reported its first case in 90 years. In Brazil, 135,000 cases were diagnosed in the first three months of this year, a rise of about a third over the same period last year. Paraguay, the country worst affected in relation to population size, has reported more than 25,000 cases so far this year, six times the total for the whole of last year—and even this is probably an underestimate.”

However, buried in this text is the remarkable claim that this diease is

“Fuelled by climate change, dengue fever is on the rise again throughout the developing world, particularly in Latin America.”

What is the scientific evidence for this statement that the dengue fever is “fuelled by climate change”?

I value reading the Economist but the insertion of such scientifically unsubstantiated claims detracts significantly from the journalistic intergrity and accuracy of this magazine. It makes one wonder if other science articles in the Economist, in areas outside of my expertise, are similarly biased.

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