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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 food- and water-borne diseases would be affected or not affected by climate change. (A) Leptospirosis. (B) Cryptosporidiosis. (C) Salmonellosis. (D) Campylobacteriosis. 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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f3: Responses from national infectious disease experts from EEA countries, 2009–2010, as to whether specific food- and water-borne diseases would be affected or not affected by climate change. (A) Leptospirosis. (B) Cryptosporidiosis. (C) Salmonellosis. (D) Campylobacteriosis. 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: Food- and water-borne diseases. A large proportion of the experts indicated that they believed that water-borne diseases would be affected by climate change in the future (Table 1). Leptospirosis (56%) and cryptosporidiosis (40%) were cited by the largest number of respondents (Table 1, Figure 3A,B). However, respondents from only 3 countries (Finland, Romania, and Sweden) reported increases of water-borne diseases over the last decade (data not shown). Drinking water supplies in Europe can be regarded as a potential source of vulnerability to climate change; for example, the extent of the vulnerability may be determined by whether access is via public (e.g., municipal) or private water systems. Respondents indicated that the proportion of their population using private drinking water sources were 1–10% in 12 countries, 11–20% in 2 countries, 21–40% in 2 countries, and > 40% in 1 country. Responses were missing for 9 countries. In all 5 countries that had > 11% of private drinking water sources, experts considered the country to be at risk of water-borne outbreaks from climate change.


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 food- and water-borne diseases would be affected or not affected by climate change. (A) Leptospirosis. (B) Cryptosporidiosis. (C) Salmonellosis. (D) Campylobacteriosis. 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

f3: Responses from national infectious disease experts from EEA countries, 2009–2010, as to whether specific food- and water-borne diseases would be affected or not affected by climate change. (A) Leptospirosis. (B) Cryptosporidiosis. (C) Salmonellosis. (D) Campylobacteriosis. 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: Food- and water-borne diseases. A large proportion of the experts indicated that they believed that water-borne diseases would be affected by climate change in the future (Table 1). Leptospirosis (56%) and cryptosporidiosis (40%) were cited by the largest number of respondents (Table 1, Figure 3A,B). However, respondents from only 3 countries (Finland, Romania, and Sweden) reported increases of water-borne diseases over the last decade (data not shown). Drinking water supplies in Europe can be regarded as a potential source of vulnerability to climate change; for example, the extent of the vulnerability may be determined by whether access is via public (e.g., municipal) or private water systems. Respondents indicated that the proportion of their population using private drinking water sources were 1–10% in 12 countries, 11–20% in 2 countries, 21–40% in 2 countries, and > 40% in 1 country. Responses were missing for 9 countries. In all 5 countries that had > 11% of private drinking water sources, experts considered the country to be at risk of water-borne outbreaks from climate change.

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