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Climate and human health: the impact of climate change on vector-borne disease

ft1Climate change is expected to impact widely upon human health, including changes in the geographical distribution of insects that carry diseases such as Malaria, Dengue Fever, West Nile Fever, Chikungunya Fever and others. The Mediterranean basin and the Middle East have been historically devastated by such diseases, and may be of particular risk as they are projected to suffer greater changes in climate than average global estimates. They also border regions where vector-borne diseases are endemic and historically have been devastated by now emerging and resurgent vector-borne diseases. The Cyprus Institute and the Imperial College London have recently initiated a collaboration to study the impacts of climate change on vector-borne diseases in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East (EMME).

ft3The Cyprus Institute and Imperial College London organised a three day workshop in Paphos, aiming to bring together experts in the fields of Entomology, Meteorology and Epidemiology to review recent progress in the assessment of climate impacts on vector-borne disease, focusing on projections of infectious disease transmission in response to climatic changes.

Scientists from Cyprus, other EU countries and Israel provided an overview of recent scientific research into climate change and its impacts on insect transmitted diseases in Europe and the EMME in particular. They discussed how to better project climate change impacts upon the spread of diseases including Malaria, Dengue Fever, West Nile Fever and Chikungunya Fever. In particular, they discussed the development of tools to help plan strategies for prevention and control of the spread of insect vectors and the diseases they transmit. Importantly, the greatest threats to the region were identified and a framework for research into predicting and preventing these threats was developed.

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