The European Commission (EC) has updated its communicable disease surveillance list to include a number of recently emerging or re-emerging diseases.
Last week, the Commission adopted an ‘Implementing Decision’ on the list of communicable diseases and related special health issues, as well as relevant case definitions to be monitored through the European Union’s epidemiological surveillance network. Chikungunya, Dengue, Lyme neuroborreliosis and Zika infections and corresponding case definitions will now be added to the surveillance list.
The Decision also includes revised case definitions for a number of other communicable diseases and related health issues including antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections. The move also brings the list of diseases and case definitions in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) nomenclature.
Regular updates such as this are usually triggered by new scientific information or by evolving laboratory diagnostics and practices, and are based on the scientific advice by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
While rates of infectious diseases have either fallen or remained stable in European Union (EU) countries for several years, the Commission said it remains concerned by the challenges posed by re-emerging communicable diseases, antimicrobial resistance and vaccine hesitancy.