ECDC Regional meeting on West Nile fever real time surveillance and exchange of good practices on vector-borne diseases
This was the first regional meeting on West Nile fever real time surveillance and good practices on vector-borne diseases. The overall objective was to support the exchange of experience between EU and non-EU neighbouring countries on the surveillance of West Nile fever and the lessons learnt since 2011.
Vector-borne diseases pose a special challenge to public health authorities both in Europe and neighbouring countries. In recent years, several vector-borne disease outbreaks have occurred in Europe and an increasing trend for novel and unusual outbreaks of vector-borne diseases is expected. The epidemiology of West Nile virus infection in humans in Europe appears to be changing. Following the first large outbreak in Europe in Romania in 1996, infection in humans and/or horses have been reported in several EU Member States. Similarly, cases were reported in several neighbouring non-EU countries stressing the regional dimension of this threat.
To address the threat of vector-borne diseases and notably West Nile fever, ECDC initiated a series of initiatives, including threat and risk assessments, expert meetings and the development of tools specifically for West Nile fever preparedness. However, in order to address the regional dimension of this threat it was necessary to integrate a regional perspective in those activities.
Scope and objectives of the meeting
In this context and in accordance with ECDC’s objectives to develop technical cooperation with non-EU neighbouring countries, ECDC organised its first regional meeting on West Nile fever real time surveillance and good practices on vector-borne diseases. In order to strengthen regional cooperation regarding West Nile fever and other vector-borne diseases, the meeting brought together representatives from EU Member States and non-EU neighbouring countries with the overall objectives to:
- Support the exchange of experience between EU and non-EU neighbouring countries on the surveillance of West Nile fever and the lessons learnt since 2011;
- Share experiences and lessons learnt on other vector-borne diseases of a common interest (e.g. leishmaniasis, sand fly fever) within the Mediterranean region;
- Identify the perspectives of West Nile fever surveillance and assess whether it can be used as a model for other vector-borne disease real time surveillance; and
- Provide specific TESSy training to make easier and quicker real time reporting of West Nile fever cases.