The Action Background
In tropical areas, Aedes mosquitos cause >100m symptomatic cases/year of viral diseases, such as dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika, and thousands of deaths. With increasing trade and travel, several Aedes species have been introduced into Europe and are now spreading spectacularly rapidly becoming a widespread significant public health risk which needs to be effectively addressed, as testified by recent cases of autochthonous chikungunya and dengue transmission.
Transboundary risks require effective surveillance, risk assessment, and vector control, with efficient dissemination of information and guidance to stakeholders, requiring collaboration between the normative, research, public health, commercial and civil society sectors at international, national and local scales. This is not happening. Despite the range of institutional guidelines available, current mitigation activities are largely uncoordinated, and implemented piecemeal nationally or locally, reducing cost-effectiveness and impact.
AIM Cost Action will build a gender, age and geographically balanced network from critical stakeholder sectors. The Action will assess and review current surveillance, control and analysis practices, develop best practice guidelines and protocols ensuring consistency across Europe. It will facilitate development of new tools and identify priority research topics. Recommendations to standardise and streamline entomological and spatial analysis will promote enhanced risk assessments needed for reliable targeting and planning. Critical elements maximising impact will be involvement of civil society and citizen scientists, as well as collaborative dissemination ensuring that technical outputs and guidelines are customised at different geographical scales for each operational stakeholder group. Lessons learned will be transferrable to other emerging vector borne diseases worldwide.