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Adapting to climate change. Jonathan Suk 30 June 2010. Drivers of emerging infectious diseases. Main categories of drivers associated with emergence and re-emergence of human pathogens. Rank*Driver. 1Changes in land use or agricultural practices.

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Adapting to climate change

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Adapting to climate change

Adapting to climate change

Jonathan Suk

30 June 2010

Drivers of emerging infectious diseases

Drivers of emerging infectious diseases

Main categories of drivers associated with emergence and re-emergence of human pathogens


1Changes in land use or agricultural practices

2Changes in human demographics and society

3Poor population health, e.g. HIV, malnutrition

4Hospitals and medial procedures

5Pathogen evolution, e.g. antimicrobial drug resistance, increased virulence

6Contamination of food sources or water supplies

7International travel

8Failure of public health programmes

9International trade

10Climate change

* Ranked by the number of pathogen species associated with them (most to least).

Source: Woolhouse, M.E.J. & Gowtage-Sequeria, S. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2005, Vol. 11(12): 1842-1847.

Food and water borne pathogens with known climate links

Food- and water-borne pathogens with known climate links

Vector borne diseases pathogens that may be linked to climate change in europe

Vector-borne diseases/pathogens that may be linked to climate change in Europe

*Disease not currently prevalent in continental EU region

Adapting to climate change

Current distribution of Aedes albopictus in the EU

Source: Schaffner, F. Development of Aedesalbopictus risk maps. TigerMaps project. ECDC, Stockholm 2008. (Forthcoming.)

Potential establishment under climate change scenarios

Potential establishment under climatechange scenarios

Climate change at ecdc

Climate change at ECDC

  • Vulnerability and risk assessments

  • International workshop on Environmental Change and Infectious Disease

  • International workshop on Linking Environmental and Epidemiologic Data

  • Risk assessment of vector-borne diseases in the EU (V-borne)

  • Impact of climate change on food- and water-borne (FWB) diseases in Europe

  • Risk maps for Aedesalbopictus

  • Risk maps for dengue fever and aedesaegypti

  • Adaptation strategies

  • Chikungunya communication toolkit

  • Adaptation and vulnerability toolkit

  • Response

  • ECDC/WHO risk assessment of chikungunya in northern Italy

1 vector surveillance vbornet

1. Vector Surveillance: VBORNET

  • Objectives

  • To establish a network of expertise in entomology across the EU

  • To obtain data on vectors of primary concern to health in the EU (mosquitos, ticks)

  • To promote EU-wide harmonization of standards and methods for vector surveillance

2 environmental monitoring


Direct exposures(heat stroke, drowning…)




Indirect exposures(vector-borne diseases, other infectious diseases)

Climate change

Environmental consequences

Socio-economic impacts(homelessness, refugees…)


2. Environmental monitoring

Health outcomes

3 adaptation handbook

3. Adaptation handbook

  • Background

  • Climate change as a threat multiplier – addressing climate-sensitive diseases should also benefit public health today

  • Objectives

  • To assist EU Member States to conduct national and regional vulnerability assessments as concerns climate change and communicable diseases

  • To develop comprehensive advice for ECDC and EU Member States on how to implement regionally targeted adaptation strategies to mitigate against future communicable disease transmission due to climate change.

Pragmatic approach

Pragmatic approach

  • Identify baseline description (epidemiologic, socio-economic, current disease burden), and note it is changing alongside climate

  • Identify climate-sensitive diseases most relevant for a given region, and then weighing options for action

  • Identify climatic drivers (rainfall, drought, temperature) most relevant to these diseases

  • Develop adaptation strategies with future projections in mind, and engage other sectors where possible

  • Strategy needs to be evidence-based, but does not necessarily need to involve sophisticated modelling

Assessment process

Assessment Process

Aim, demarcation

Organisational structure:

Working group, reference group, etc

Base-line description

Climate, diseases, vulnerability factors

Iterative process


Vulnerability and impacts

Quality control

Base-line description

Adaptation measures


Adaptive strategies and measures

Policy decision

Follow-up/ monitoring:

Impacts and measures

Identifying priorities for action

Identifying priorities for action

Probability of an outbreak/strength of climate change-disease relationship

Weighted significance of climate change on the transmission of a specific infectious disease in an area










Severity of consequence for society risk group

Adapting to climate change

Thank you.

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