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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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Responses from national infectious disease (ID) experts, 2009/2010, as to the effectiveness of institutions, health services, and surveillance programs for vector-, water-, and food-borne diseases by EEA countries. The y-axis represents the EEA countries, which included 27 EU member states plus Norway and Iceland, with the exception of Lichtenstein. Incomplete data are due to missing information. Data are based on the following survey questions: 1. Are there regional or local planning and coordination institutions to monitor and control climate-sensitive IDs? 2. Are regional or local health services able to provide essential health services during an ID outbreak? 3. How effective are current surveillance and control programs for vector-, water-, and food-borne diseases? 4. How effective is their capacity to provide routine and diagnostic support in case of an epidemic? 5. How effective is your collaboration with the veterinary sector with regard to both surveillance and responses to an outbreak? 6. How is an animal disease outbreak, with human health implications, managed in your country?
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f5: Responses from national infectious disease (ID) experts, 2009/2010, as to the effectiveness of institutions, health services, and surveillance programs for vector-, water-, and food-borne diseases by EEA countries. The y-axis represents the EEA countries, which included 27 EU member states plus Norway and Iceland, with the exception of Lichtenstein. Incomplete data are due to missing information. Data are based on the following survey questions: 1. Are there regional or local planning and coordination institutions to monitor and control climate-sensitive IDs? 2. Are regional or local health services able to provide essential health services during an ID outbreak? 3. How effective are current surveillance and control programs for vector-, water-, and food-borne diseases? 4. How effective is their capacity to provide routine and diagnostic support in case of an epidemic? 5. How effective is your collaboration with the veterinary sector with regard to both surveillance and responses to an outbreak? 6. How is an animal disease outbreak, with human health implications, managed in your country?

Mentions: Planning and preparedness. Only 9 of 27 respondents indicated that their countries had completed a national assessment specifically focused on the potential health impacts of climate change (Table 3, Figure 4A). Coverage of infectious diseases by the assessment was reported to be extensive, adequate, or minimal by 4, 3, and 2 respondents, respectively. However, in 14 of 25 countries where adaptation initiatives had been completed or started, the National Climate Change Team/Committee included consideration of the infectious disease health risks of climate change (Figure 4B). The accuracy of this particular response was verified through a review of all fifth submitted National Communications to the UNFCCC provided by each member state from the end of 2009 to the end of 2010 (UNFCCC 2010). A 100% concordance was found between the statements of the experts regarding the health contents of the UNFCC communications and the actual contents of these reports. National preparedness measures reported by the government officials are listed in Table 3, and an assessment of the effectiveness of institutions that monitor and provide health services for infectious diseases is provided in Figure 5. Seventeen countries reported plans to respond to the potential threats from climate change–sensitive infectious diseases through surveillance, monitoring, regulations, resource allocation, or communication strategies.


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 (ID) experts, 2009/2010, as to the effectiveness of institutions, health services, and surveillance programs for vector-, water-, and food-borne diseases by EEA countries. The y-axis represents the EEA countries, which included 27 EU member states plus Norway and Iceland, with the exception of Lichtenstein. Incomplete data are due to missing information. Data are based on the following survey questions: 1. Are there regional or local planning and coordination institutions to monitor and control climate-sensitive IDs? 2. Are regional or local health services able to provide essential health services during an ID outbreak? 3. How effective are current surveillance and control programs for vector-, water-, and food-borne diseases? 4. How effective is their capacity to provide routine and diagnostic support in case of an epidemic? 5. How effective is your collaboration with the veterinary sector with regard to both surveillance and responses to an outbreak? 6. How is an animal disease outbreak, with human health implications, managed in your country?
© Copyright Policy - public-domain
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f5: Responses from national infectious disease (ID) experts, 2009/2010, as to the effectiveness of institutions, health services, and surveillance programs for vector-, water-, and food-borne diseases by EEA countries. The y-axis represents the EEA countries, which included 27 EU member states plus Norway and Iceland, with the exception of Lichtenstein. Incomplete data are due to missing information. Data are based on the following survey questions: 1. Are there regional or local planning and coordination institutions to monitor and control climate-sensitive IDs? 2. Are regional or local health services able to provide essential health services during an ID outbreak? 3. How effective are current surveillance and control programs for vector-, water-, and food-borne diseases? 4. How effective is their capacity to provide routine and diagnostic support in case of an epidemic? 5. How effective is your collaboration with the veterinary sector with regard to both surveillance and responses to an outbreak? 6. How is an animal disease outbreak, with human health implications, managed in your country?
Mentions: Planning and preparedness. Only 9 of 27 respondents indicated that their countries had completed a national assessment specifically focused on the potential health impacts of climate change (Table 3, Figure 4A). Coverage of infectious diseases by the assessment was reported to be extensive, adequate, or minimal by 4, 3, and 2 respondents, respectively. However, in 14 of 25 countries where adaptation initiatives had been completed or started, the National Climate Change Team/Committee included consideration of the infectious disease health risks of climate change (Figure 4B). The accuracy of this particular response was verified through a review of all fifth submitted National Communications to the UNFCCC provided by each member state from the end of 2009 to the end of 2010 (UNFCCC 2010). A 100% concordance was found between the statements of the experts regarding the health contents of the UNFCC communications and the actual contents of these reports. National preparedness measures reported by the government officials are listed in Table 3, and an assessment of the effectiveness of institutions that monitor and provide health services for infectious diseases is provided in Figure 5. Seventeen countries reported plans to respond to the potential threats from climate change–sensitive infectious diseases through surveillance, monitoring, regulations, resource allocation, or communication strategies.

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