EFSA and ECDC join forces to fight vector-borne diseases

Today, EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) hold their kick-off meeting on VectorNet, a four-year project aimed at developing a common database on vectors of diseases affecting humans and/or animals. It relies on data provided by a network of institutions and research bodies across the EU.

The project will provide data on the presence, distribution and abundance of vectors and vector-borne diseases, which EFSA and ECDC will then use in their risk assessments.

A new video, featuring interviews with Franck Berthe, Head of EFSA’s Animal and Plant Health unit, and Hervé Zeller, Head of the Emerging and Vector-borne Diseases Programme at ECDC, presents the work that the two organisations do together in this field.

Vectors are living organisms – such as mosquitoes, ticks, flies or fleas – that transmit a disease from an infected animal to a human or another animal. Many of the diseases that they transmit are considered emerging infectious diseases: diseases that appear for the first time, or that may have existed previously but are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range.

Travel, international trade, animal movement, climate change and modern agricultural practices are among the factors that enable the introduction of vectors and the diseases they carry from tropical areas to more temperate zones, such as Europe.

The scientific advice provided by EFSA and ECDC brings together expertise from human and veterinary medicine. Their risk assessments support policy makers to combat the risk to European citizens and animals from these debilitating diseases.

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