ECDC is working in partnership with the European Commission, the European Environment Agency and WHO to assess how and where infectious diseases may take advantage of climate change. This includes looking at whether disease carrying insects - such as various types of mosquitoes and ticks – could move into new areas of Europe.
An expert conference hosted by ECDC in 2007 identified a number of potential threats, depending on various climate scenarios. These included the introduction to new areas of Europe of:
- Mosquito-borne diseases such as Chikungunya Fever, West Nile virus infection, Dengue fever, and possibly even Malaria
- Sandfly-borne diseases, such as Toscana Fever
- Tick-borne diseases, such as Tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis / Lyme disease
- Rodent-borne disease such as hanta viruses
- Food borne diseases such as Cryptosporidiosis and salmonellosis
Contacts between European and international experts is continuing on these issues, with a view to enhancing understanding of the threat – and how it can be addressed. A joint ECDC / WHO report of the 2007 expert conference is in press and will be published shortly.