EFSA Satellite meeting, Brussels 4 October 2013

  • For programme EFSA Satellite see here

Emerging animal diseases in the EU: what have we learned?

In recent years several unexpected outbreaks of vector-borne diseases
have occurred in Europe. Diseases such as West Nile fever have moved up the list
of public health issues, with outbreaks in humans in Greece, Bulgaria and Croatia.
Bluetongue virus was detected well outside its known geographical range. More
recently, Schmallenberg virus emerged in ruminant animal populations and
rapidly spread across Europe. Non vector-borne diseases have also unexpectedly
occurred in the EU, such as the spill-over of Q-fever from animals to humans in
the Netherlands for example.

Because they were unexpected, these events all raise the question of
their origin. Bearing in mind their zoonotic potential, they also raise the
question of infectious diseases at the human animal interface.

A lot has been written on the subject. The European scientific community
has been actively involved in addressing the many questions related with such
outbreaks. EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority has performed several risk
assessments published in scientific opinions of the scientific panel on animal
health and welfare (AHAW).

The objective of this satellite meeting within the EPIZONE annual
meeting is to re-think emerging animal diseases, reflecting on their origins and
more importantly on our level of preparedness. The workshop will also identify
critical issues to be addressed in the coming years by EFSA and the scientific
community in general.