The forecast for Houston, Texas today: pushing 40C. The southern US and Mexico have faced extreme heat for the past three weeks with the heat index (the temperature combined with humidity) hitting a dangerous 48C. It isn’t just about dealing with the physical effects of heat on the body. Five cases of malaria have been identified in Florida and Texas in people who didn’t pick it up from travelling abroad – the first cases of local transmission in the US since 2003, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The US is marked as malaria-free by the World Health Organization and the life-threatening but curable disease is mainly an issue in more tropical climates. But climate change may increase mosquito prevalence, as warmer and wetter weather encourages mosquitos to feed and breed.
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