Addressing the impacts of climate change on the emergence and spread of infectious diseases
As our planet heats up due to climate change, outbreaks of zoonotic diseases – diseases that spread from animals to humans – are increasing and expanding to new parts of the world, in particular Europe. Warmer temperatures, more variable rainfall, and the loss of biodiversity influence the survival and spread of zoonotic pathogens, and the reproduction and geographic location of their vectors, such as mosquitoes or ticks.
Past and recent health crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have shown there is a need for stronger and more inclusive preparedness and responsiveness to epidemic-prone pathogens at the EU and global level.
IDAlert aims to tackle this challenge by developing a range of decision-support tools and systems to enable decision-makers to act on time with improved responses.
IDAlert is one of the 6 research and innovation projects that form the Climate-Health Cluster, funded by the European Commission Horizon Europe programme and the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA).
All cluster projects address climate change-induced health risks and help increase preparedness and adaptation by creating synergies, sharing experiences and knowledge, and developing aligned communication actions to maximise impact.
A UNIQUE APPROACH
Co-creation and One Health perspective
IDAlert is developing tools tailored to key stakeholders which help to improve anticipation, forecasting, and understanding of future risks of disease emergence and spread.
For this, the project is implementing an innovative co-creation, participatory, and citizen science approach, involving stakeholders to understand their needs and address gaps.
In addition, an EcoHealth and One Health systems perspective is integrated into the research, taking account of the close connection between humans, animals, the environment, and the increase in infectious diseases.
The validity of the tools and methods developed in the project will be demonstrated in 5 key hotspot sites in collaboration with local stakeholders in Spain, The Netherlands, Greece, Sweden, and Bangladesh, which are experiencing rapid urban transformation and climate-induced disease threats.
Attica Region including Athens Municipality
Stakeholder: Benaki Phytopathological Institute (BPI)
Girona Province, & Barcelona Municipality
Stakeholder: Mosquito Control Service of Girona, Public Health Agency of Girona (DIPSALUT), Public Health Agency of Barcelona (ASPB)
South Holland Province, Rotterdam Municipality
Stakeholder: Municipal health service Rotterdam, Rotterdam Municipality
Uppsala County & Stockholm Municipality
Stakeholder: Swedish Veterinary
Dhaka Municipality & Teknaf Subdistrict
Stakeholder: International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (iccdr,b)
Heidelberg & Rhein-Neckar-Kreis
Stakeholder: Heidelberg Institute of Global Health (HIGH), Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR)
The consortium involves 19 organisations from Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Greece, The Netherlands, Italy, UK, and Bangladesh, with world leading experts in a wide range of disciplines including zoonoses, infectious disease epidemiology, social sciences, artificial intelligence, environmental economics, and environmental and climate sciences.