Climate change is affecting all regions in Europe, causing a wide range of impacts on health, society and the environment according to the latest assessment published by the European Environment Agency. Climate change plays a part in the transmission of certain infectious diseases. For example, it allows the tick species Ixodes ricinus to thrive further north, and may alter which areas in Europe are climatically suitable for disease-carrying mosquitos and sandflies. The transmission of food- and water-borne diseases, including salmonellosis and cryptosporosis, are also expected to be affected by climate change.
ECDC co-authored the Human Health chapter in the EEA report, ‘Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012’ launched on 21 November, alongside EEA and WHO experts.
Climate change is already contributing to the burden of disease and premature deaths in Europe. Its main health effects are related to extreme weather events and heat related impacts but there are also changes in the distribution of climate sensitive diseases and environmental and social conditions. Quantitative projections of future climate-sensitive health risks are difficult due to the complex relationship between climatic and non climatic factors.
The report also projects the adverse impacts of future climate change will outweigh any beneficial impacts.
ECDC climate change health topic page