Final report Interactive Session "Epidemic threats to the European Union"

Published on
January 20, 2012

At the 4th Annual Meeting EPIZONE, an interactive question session was held to elicit the opinions of delegates on future epidemic threats to the EU.

The aim of the interactive session was to identify the most threatening viruses, both now and in the future, and to identify those tools which contribute most to prediction, prevention and control of future epidemics. 150 scientific experts The results from the interactive session summarize the opinions of over 150 scientific experts on current and future epidemic threats. Delegates were asked a number of questions relating to six virus groups which were defined prior to the meeting. The questions related to impact, likelihood, prevention and control and several options were given for each. They were asked to consider the situation now and in the future (2020).


In summary, delegates were of the opinion that FMD and influenza are currently the most threatening virus groups. They were also of the opinion that previous outbreaks of these viruses have resulted in changes by scientists, policy-makers and farmers in relation to both their practices and the way in which they view the factors contributing to epidemic threats. Although the future scenarios that delegates were asked to consider when thinking about future threats related to a relatively short time period of 10 years, overall, there was a changeof opinion. In particular, delegates thought that influenza would be less of a threat in 2020 than now and the zoonotic arboviruses would be more of a threat in 2020 than now.