Recent floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia: What are the communicable disease risks?

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​Following the floods that occurred more than a month ago in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia ECDC’s risk assessment concludes there is a risk of an increase in vector-borne diseases transmission, mainly West Nile fever, but that there is a low risk of outbreaks of waterborne infections, zoonosis and vaccine-preventable diseases.

​Following the floods that occurred more than a month ago in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia ECDC’s risk assessment concludes there is a risk of an increase in vector-borne diseases transmission, mainly West Nile fever, but that there is a low risk of outbreaks of waterborne infections, zoonosis and vaccine-preventable diseases. Further, no clusters or outbreaks of communicable diseases have been reported to WHO.

Considering the water levels are now returning to normal, clean water and electricity are being restored in the affected areas, there is only a limited risk of outbreaks of waterborne infections and zoonosis, e.g. leptospirosis, hepatitis A, diarrheal disease.

Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases are also unlikely due to the high vaccination coverage in the affected countries. Vaccination coverage for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis is high in the three countries, as well as for measles, tuberculosis and polio.
 
However, there is a risk of increased transmission of vector-borne infections, mainly West Nile virus infections, because the breeding sites for mosquitoes, vector of diseases, have expanded due to standing waters, states the assessment. 
 
Options for prevention and response suggested in the risk assessment are related to vector-borne diseases and in line with the ECDC West Nile virus risk assessment tool, such as mosquito control, enhanced surveillance actions, promotion of personal protective measures.
 
 Read the rapid risk assessment: Floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia: communicable disease risks
 
 
 

More information:

 Emerging and Vector-borne Diseases ProgrammeFood- and Waterborne Diseases and Zoonoses ProgrammeVaccine Preventable Diseases ProgrammeWest Nile feverWest Nile virus risk assessment toolDengue feverHepatitis ALeptospirosisDiphtheriaTetanusMeaslesTuberculosisPertussisPoliomyelitis

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