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Infectious disease experts available to comment on increased rate of mosquito-borne illness this summer

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The World Health Organization is warning that the Americas could see alarming rates of dengue and chikungunya this summer. Due to higher temperatures and climate change, we are seeing more mosquito days, meaning mosquitos carrying the viruses are living longer, causing the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses to worsen in many parts of the world.  

Global health research experts at the nonprofit research institute RTI International are available to discuss the potential global health threat that dengue, chikungunya and other mosquito-borne illnesses pose, as well as prevention and treatment recommendations.  

  • Richard Reithinger, MSc, PhD, Distinguished Fellow in Global Health, is an epidemiologist with extensive field-based experience managing infectious disease programs in Africa, Central Asia and Latin America, as well as managing multi-country programs and developing standards-based country policies and strategies. He is an extensively published author in the field of malaria and other vector-borne disease epidemiology, case management, prevention, surveillance, and control.

  • Donal Bisanzio, DVM, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, has more than 15 years of experience with infectious diseases in humans and animals. Much of his research focuses on vector-based and zoonotic diseases, such as malaria, Lyme disease, dengue, chikungunya, zika, and West Nile Virus. He is skilled in applying field investigations and analytical methods (spatio-temporal statistics, geographic information systems and modeling) for studying factors affecting the spread of diseases and effectiveness of control responses. Dr Bisanzio’s research focuses on guiding national interventions and control measures that protect people in highly vulnerable countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

  • Pia MacDonald, PhD, MPH, CPH, Senior Infectious Disease Epidemiologist, has an extensive background in infectious disease epidemiology and surveillance, global health security, public health preparedness, and outbreak investigation and response. Dr. MacDonald currently leads projects focused on strengthening countries' capacity to prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks in order to become compliant with the International Health Regulations. She has worked on many outbreak responses, including malaria, influenza (H1N1), West Nile Virus, Ebola, Zika and COVID-19.

To request an interview, contact news@rti.org. To access more RTI research about global health, visit www.rti.org and follow RTI on Twitter @RTI_Intl