Skip to content
CityLab
Environment

Zika Isn't the Only Virus Worsened by El Niño

This year might be a glimpse into the infectious world of the future.
A health worker shows a flyer used to explain how to prevent Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika viruses in San Salvador, El Salvador.
A health worker shows a flyer used to explain how to prevent Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika viruses in San Salvador, El Salvador.REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

The Zika virus outbreak "is now spreading explosively" across the Americas, with 3 to 4 million infections estimated for the region in the next year, as Mother Jones reported Thursday.

The infectious disease, which doctors suspect has caused an increase in microcephaly, is likely linked to this year’s El Niño, a global climate cycle characterized by a band of warm water in the equatorial Pacific. But the Zika virus isn’t the only public health concern El Niño brings. This year’s landscape of infectious disease might be a glimpse into a sicker future.