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Assessing the potential impacts of climate change on food- and waterborne diseases in Europe

March 30, 2012 Comments off

Assessing the potential impacts of climate change on food- and waterborne diseases in Europe
Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

After a structured and systematic review of published literature on food- and waterborne pathogens and how they are influenced by meteorological and climate variables, a team of scientists from the University of Bonn developed a computerised interface to access the findings of this literature review. The resulting knowledge base allows users to quickly explore relationships between environmental variables and food- and waterborne pathogens.

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The 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic in Europe: A review of the experience

February 24, 2011 Comments off

The 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic in Europe: A review of the experience (PDF)
Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

This extended report aims to provide a broad overview of the epidemiology and virology of the 2009 pandemic in the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries (27 EU Member States (MS) and Norway and Iceland). Relevant background information on influenza epidemics and pandemics, notably their variability and unpredictability, is provided. The main trends and information are derived from the analysis and interpretation of the epidemiological and virological data and other analyses provided to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) European Surveillance system (TESSy) through the European Influenza Surveillance Network (EISN).

These data and analyses show that, following its emergence in North America, the pandemic virus started to be transmitted in Europe around week 16/2009. This virus met the previously determined criteria for a pandemic in Europe as it did elsewhere. Surveillance suitable for the pandemic was rapidly developed and agreed upon by ECDC and the EU/EEA MS, with input from the World Health Organization (WHO) and countries already affected from outside Europe. This built on pre-existing systems, but included new elements to monitor the situation among those severely affected by the pandemic virus. In addition, epidemic intelligence and targeted science-watch methods were employed to determine, as early as possible, important parameters needed for informed risk assessments, adjusting projections and informing counter-measures.

The European Influenza Surveillance Network reported an initial spring/summer wave of transmission that appeared in most countries, but was only striking in a few countries, especially the United Kingdom. The rate of transmission briefly subsided as the summer progressed, but then accelerated again in the early autumn just after the re-opening of schools. This time it affected all countries, as an autumn/winter wave was seen to progress from west to east across the continent. The World Health Organization officially declared the pandemic over in week 32 of 2010.

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