Climate change should be viewed fundamentally as an issue of global justice. Understanding the complex interplay of climatic and socioeconomic trends is imperative to protect human health and lessen the burden of diseases such as dengue fever. Dengue fever is rapidly expanding globally. Temperature, rainfall, and frequency of natural disasters, as well as non-climatic trends involving population growth and migration, urbanization, and international trade and travel, are expected to increase the prevalence of mosquito breeding sites, mosquito survival, the speed of mosquito reproduction, the speed of viral incubation, the distribution of dengue virus and its vectors, human migration patterns towards urban areas, and displacement after natural disasters. The burden of dengue disproportionately affects the poor due to increased environmental risk and decreased health care.
Mobilization of social institutions is needed to improve the structural inequalities of poverty that predispose the poor to increased dengue fever infection and worse outcomes. This paper reviews the link between dengue and climatic factors as a starting point to developing a comprehensive understanding of how climate change affects dengue risk and how institutions can address the issues of social justice and dengue outbreaks that increasingly affect vulnerable urban populations.