Fears that climate change will bring Zika and malaria to UK

Climate change could bring Zika and malaria to Britain, the Department of Health fears as it announced a multi-million pound research fund to tackle the health effects of global warming.

Currently, deadly diseases spread by mosquitoes are confined to warmer climates, because the insects cannot survive in chillier northern areas.

But temperatures are rising, and by 2040 the average daily temperature in the UK is expected to be between 0.5C and 1C hotter than today. The Department of Health announced up to £56 million for research into the potential impacts of climate change.

This week, research by Oxford University concluded that over the next 30 years, insect-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria could pose a risk to half the world’s population.

One of the main disease-spreading mosquitoes – the tiger mosquito – is already present in southern France and is migrating North.

Grahame White