258235 Climate change and blood safety

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jan C. Semenza, PhD, MPH, MS , Office of the Chief Scientist, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stockholm, Sweden
Climate change is likely to shift the distribution of infectious agents in Europe. Elevated temperatures, intense precipitation patterns, droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events will have a bearing on the ecology of disease vectors and exposure pathways of food and waterborne diseases. The infiltration of infectious agents into the blood supply is of considerable public health concern and calls for multidisciplinary approaches to risk analysis and preparedness. The risk from infectious diseases due to climate change was evaluated by the European Centres for Disease Prevention and Control through an expert assessment. Government representatives for 30 European countries, responsible for infectious diseases and climate change, were asked to weigh the threats from infectious agents due to climate change in their respective country. This assessment was balanced against data from the peer-reviewed literature and evaluated with regards to the safety of blood supplies.

Continental Europe has experienced the transmission of traditionally “tropical” diseases; for example, Italy endured an outbreak of chikungunya fever in 2007, Greece and Romania had large outbreaks of West Nile fever in 2010 and 2011, and the first autochthonous transmission of dengue fever occurred in France in 2010. Other infectious agents are of concern such as Hanta virus, leishmaniasis, malaria, tick-borne encephalitis and their relationship to climate change and blood safety will be discussed. These insights call for changes in the current surveillance system such as syndromic, sentinel, vector or environmental surveillance. Ultimately, vigilant surveillance is the cornerstone of public health practice, and will likely be ever more important for addressing climate change threats.

Learning Areas:
Basic medical science applied in public health
Environmental health sciences
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health biology
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Name five infectious agents that are a threat to blood banks Identify pathogens that are impacted by climate change and can be a threat to blood supplies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I did the work
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.