Viral diseases

July 5, 2023 People's Tonight 99 views

DON’T look now, but El Nino may trigger the spread of viral diseases linked to the phenomenon in places affected by the unusual warming of sea surface temperatures.

Note that the weather bureau – the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) – issued last Tuesday its first El Nino advisory.

This, after the Geneva–based World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned of surging temperatures across large parts of the world, including impoverished Philppines.

According to the meteorological organization, the weather phenomenon occurs on average every two to seven years, and can last nine to 12 months.

PAGASA, on other hand, said El Nino will persist from July 2023 to January 2024, with 36 provinces potentially experiencing dry spells or or below normal rainfall conditions.

Likewise, the weather bureau said higher temperatures and extreme weather events could escalate risk for infectious diseasaes, floods and droughts.

Last month, WMO said it was preparing for an increased spread of viral diseases , including the dreaded dengue, Zika and chikungunya linked to the phenomenon.

However, it is certainly heartening to know that the government, through PAGASA, has already assured the Filipino people of the existence of a team to mitigate these impacts.

Despite the El Nino phenomenon, the weather bureau expects at least 10 to 14 tropical cyclones to batter this Southeast Asian nation of more than 110 million people.

Doubtless, concerned government authorities are doing a great job in preparing for the arrival of El Nino in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.