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Mapping climate change vulnerabilities to infectious diseases in Europe.

Semenza JC, Suk JE, Estevez V, Ebi KL, Lindgren E - Environ. Health Perspect. (2011)

Bottom Line: A large majority of respondents agreed that climate change would affect vector-borne (86% of country representatives), food-borne (70%), water-borne (68%), and rodent-borne (68%) diseases in their countries.Expert responses were generally consistent with the peer-reviewed literature regarding the relationship between climate change and vector- and water-borne diseases, but were less so for food-borne diseases.Shortcomings in institutional capacity to manage climate change vulnerability, identified in this assessment, should be addressed in impact, vulnerability, and adaptation assessments.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Office of the Chief Scientist, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, Sweden. jan.semenza@ecdc.europa.eu

ABSTRACT

Background: The incidence, outbreak frequency, and distribution of many infectious diseases are generally expected to change as a consequence of climate change, yet there is limited regional information available to guide decision making.

Objective: We surveyed government officials designated as Competent Bodies for Scientific Advice concerning infectious diseases to examine the degree to which they are concerned about potential effects of climate change on infectious diseases, as well as their perceptions of institutional capacities in their respective countries.

Methods: In 2007 and 2009/2010, national infectious disease experts from 30 European Economic Area countries were surveyed about recent and projected infectious disease patterns in relation to climate change in their countries and the national capacity to cope with them.

Results: A large majority of respondents agreed that climate change would affect vector-borne (86% of country representatives), food-borne (70%), water-borne (68%), and rodent-borne (68%) diseases in their countries. In addition, most indicated that institutional improvements are needed for ongoing surveillance programs (83%), collaboration with the veterinary sector (69%), management of animal disease outbreaks (66%), national monitoring and control of climate-sensitive infectious diseases (64%), health services during an infectious disease outbreak (61%), and diagnostic support during an epidemic (54%).

Conclusions: Expert responses were generally consistent with the peer-reviewed literature regarding the relationship between climate change and vector- and water-borne diseases, but were less so for food-borne diseases. Shortcomings in institutional capacity to manage climate change vulnerability, identified in this assessment, should be addressed in impact, vulnerability, and adaptation assessments.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Responses from national infectious disease experts from EEA countries, 2009–2010, as to whether specific vector-borne diseases would be affected or not affected by climate change. (A) Borreliosis (Lyme disease). (B) TBE. (C) Hantavirus infections. (D) Leishmaniasis. Data are based on the following survey question on future infectious disease risks in a changing climate: “Which infectious diseases do you think climate change will most affect in your country?”
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f1: Responses from national infectious disease experts from EEA countries, 2009–2010, as to whether specific vector-borne diseases would be affected or not affected by climate change. (A) Borreliosis (Lyme disease). (B) TBE. (C) Hantavirus infections. (D) Leishmaniasis. Data are based on the following survey question on future infectious disease risks in a changing climate: “Which infectious diseases do you think climate change will most affect in your country?”

Mentions: The data for 2009/2010 were mapped by pathogen and country. Potential effects of future climate change on Lyme borreliosis were of concern to respondents from almost all countries except for officials from three Mediterranean countries (Italy, Malta, and Greece) and two Atlantic countries (Ireland and Iceland) (Figure 1A). Respondents in northern and central Europe thought climate change is likely to affect TBE, and respondents in southern Europe expected effects on West Nile fever (Figures 1B and 2A). A larger number of respondents in 2009/2010 than in 2007 felt that climate change would affect chikungunya (52% vs. 17%, p = 0.048) and dengue fever (38% vs. 17%, p = 0.07) in their countries (Table 1, Figure 2B,C). Experts also reported an increase in the geographic distribution and seasonality of several insect-, tick-, and rodent-borne diseases in their countries in the previous decade (Table 2).


Mapping climate change vulnerabilities to infectious diseases in Europe.

Semenza JC, Suk JE, Estevez V, Ebi KL, Lindgren E - Environ. Health Perspect. (2011)

Responses from national infectious disease experts from EEA countries, 2009–2010, as to whether specific vector-borne diseases would be affected or not affected by climate change. (A) Borreliosis (Lyme disease). (B) TBE. (C) Hantavirus infections. (D) Leishmaniasis. Data are based on the following survey question on future infectious disease risks in a changing climate: “Which infectious diseases do you think climate change will most affect in your country?”
© Copyright Policy - public-domain
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3295348&req=5

f1: Responses from national infectious disease experts from EEA countries, 2009–2010, as to whether specific vector-borne diseases would be affected or not affected by climate change. (A) Borreliosis (Lyme disease). (B) TBE. (C) Hantavirus infections. (D) Leishmaniasis. Data are based on the following survey question on future infectious disease risks in a changing climate: “Which infectious diseases do you think climate change will most affect in your country?”
Mentions: The data for 2009/2010 were mapped by pathogen and country. Potential effects of future climate change on Lyme borreliosis were of concern to respondents from almost all countries except for officials from three Mediterranean countries (Italy, Malta, and Greece) and two Atlantic countries (Ireland and Iceland) (Figure 1A). Respondents in northern and central Europe thought climate change is likely to affect TBE, and respondents in southern Europe expected effects on West Nile fever (Figures 1B and 2A). A larger number of respondents in 2009/2010 than in 2007 felt that climate change would affect chikungunya (52% vs. 17%, p = 0.048) and dengue fever (38% vs. 17%, p = 0.07) in their countries (Table 1, Figure 2B,C). Experts also reported an increase in the geographic distribution and seasonality of several insect-, tick-, and rodent-borne diseases in their countries in the previous decade (Table 2).

Bottom Line: A large majority of respondents agreed that climate change would affect vector-borne (86% of country representatives), food-borne (70%), water-borne (68%), and rodent-borne (68%) diseases in their countries.Expert responses were generally consistent with the peer-reviewed literature regarding the relationship between climate change and vector- and water-borne diseases, but were less so for food-borne diseases.Shortcomings in institutional capacity to manage climate change vulnerability, identified in this assessment, should be addressed in impact, vulnerability, and adaptation assessments.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Office of the Chief Scientist, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, Sweden. jan.semenza@ecdc.europa.eu

ABSTRACT

Background: The incidence, outbreak frequency, and distribution of many infectious diseases are generally expected to change as a consequence of climate change, yet there is limited regional information available to guide decision making.

Objective: We surveyed government officials designated as Competent Bodies for Scientific Advice concerning infectious diseases to examine the degree to which they are concerned about potential effects of climate change on infectious diseases, as well as their perceptions of institutional capacities in their respective countries.

Methods: In 2007 and 2009/2010, national infectious disease experts from 30 European Economic Area countries were surveyed about recent and projected infectious disease patterns in relation to climate change in their countries and the national capacity to cope with them.

Results: A large majority of respondents agreed that climate change would affect vector-borne (86% of country representatives), food-borne (70%), water-borne (68%), and rodent-borne (68%) diseases in their countries. In addition, most indicated that institutional improvements are needed for ongoing surveillance programs (83%), collaboration with the veterinary sector (69%), management of animal disease outbreaks (66%), national monitoring and control of climate-sensitive infectious diseases (64%), health services during an infectious disease outbreak (61%), and diagnostic support during an epidemic (54%).

Conclusions: Expert responses were generally consistent with the peer-reviewed literature regarding the relationship between climate change and vector- and water-borne diseases, but were less so for food-borne diseases. Shortcomings in institutional capacity to manage climate change vulnerability, identified in this assessment, should be addressed in impact, vulnerability, and adaptation assessments.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus