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Over the last decades, a variety of fatal infectious diseases have had zoonotic origins. The linkages between hosts, vectors, parasites and pathogens can be influenced by a multitude of factors, such as biodiversity, wildlife and land use. High levels of biodiversity may be a potential source of pathogen transmission, but biodiversity loss can also promote transmission by increasing the number of competent hosts for a pathogen. Biodiversity conservation reduces the risk of zoonotic diseases when ...

As 13% of deaths in the EU 28 Member States (EU-28) were attributable to the environment in 2012,1 it is clear that the effects of climate change are having tangible consequences for the European population. Its pace and intensity could thus lead to increasing health risks accross the EU. Globally, temperatures have already risen by 1°C above pre-industrial levels and a temperature increase of more than 2°C would lead to even greater health risks, especially for vulnerable populations such as the ...

Serious threats to health – such as those due to infectious disease outbreaks or environmental factors – do not respect borders. They do, however, require cross-border cooperation and a coordinated response. Decision No 1082/2013/EU is the framework for European Union action on health emergencies. It provides for information exchange, risk assessment and joint procurement, among other mechanisms. The EU-level response is coordinated by the Health Security Committee. The European Centre for Disease ...

In February 2016 a workshop was held on "Communicable Diseases: EU response to HIV, TB and Hepatitis C", hosted by Ms Glenis WILLMOTT and Mr Alojz PETERLE, co-Chairs of the Health Working Group of the ENVI Committee. It included presentations by representatives of European Commission DG Health and Food Safety, the ECDC-European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe and civil society representatives. The workshop and this publication were ...

The Zika virus continues to spread, and there is now strong evidence that it is linked to birth defects and neurological complications. Warnings to pregnant women against travel to affected areas have been stepped up. In view of the summer season, the risk of local transmission in Europe now needs careful consideration, as do the strategies to control the mosquito species that are potential vectors of the Zika virus. This 'At a glance' notes updates an earlier edition, of 25 February 2015: PE 577.988 ...

The rapid spread of the Zika virus, and especially its suspected link with an observed increase in congenital malformations and other neurological complications, has created worries. The response strategy globally, including in the EU, is taking shape. Where do we stand?

Europe is currently experiencing an unprecedented influx of refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants. European Union Member States are faced with a pressing need to address, among other issues, the resulting public health consequences. The challenges for public health authorities relate to migrants' individual health problems, whether these affect the resident population, and how to respond adequately to their needs, including providing access to healthcare. The risk of an outbreak of infectious ...

This report summarises the presentations and discussions at the Workshop on ‘Safer healthcare in Europe: improving patient safety and fighting antimicrobial resistance’, held at the European Parliament in Brussels, on Tuesday 24 February 2015. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the main challenges and future perspectives related to the topic of patient safety and the threat of antimicrobial resistance in Europe. The workshop was hosted by MEP Piernicola PEDICINI, ENVI Committee Rapporteur for ...

Although enjoying the highest possible standard of health is a human right, millions of people suffer from preventable and curable diseases. The Millennium Development Goals strongly emphasised health, leading to increased investment in the health sector. Major progress has been made in reducing child and maternal mortality, and in combatting communicable diseases, but several regions will not meet the health targets. The Ebola outbreak has drawn attention to the need for international cooperation ...

This briefing gives a preliminary insight into the topics the European Council is expected to address in its next meeting on 18 and 19 December 2014. It is based on the draft annotated agenda available on the European Council website and on previous European Council Conclusions. The annotated draft agenda is drawn up by the President of the European Council, in close operation with the Member of the European Council representing the country holding the six-monthly Presidency of the Council, now Italy ...