Climate change and infectious disease in Europe: Impact, projection and adaptation

Elsevier, The Lancet Regional Health - Europe, Volume 9, 2021,100230,
Authors: 
Jan C. Semenza, Shlomit Paz

Europeans are not only exposed to direct effects from climate change, but also vulnerable to indirect effects from infectious disease, many of which are climate sensitive, which is of concern because of their epidemic potential. Climatic conditions have facilitated vector-borne disease outbreaks like chikungunya, dengue, and West Nile fever and have contributed to a geographic range expansion of tick vectors that transmit Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis. Extreme precipitation events have caused waterborne outbreaks and longer summer seasons have contributed to increases in foodborne diseases. Under the Green Deal, The European Union aims to support climate change health policy, in order to be better prepared for the next health security threat, particularly in the aftermath of the traumatic COVID-19 experience. To bolster this policy process we discuss climate change-related hazards, exposures and vulnerabilities to infectious disease and describe observed impacts, projected risks, with policy entry points for adaptation to reduce these risks or avoid them altogether.