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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(8), 9726-9749; doi:10.3390/ijerph120809726

Climate Change and Infectious Disease Risk in Western Europe: A Survey of Dutch Expert Opinion on Adaptation Responses and Actors

International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development (ICIS), Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
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Academic Editors: Wim Passchier and Luc Hens
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 7 August 2015 / Accepted: 11 August 2015 / Published: 18 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cumulative and Integrated Health Impact Assessment)
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Abstract

There is growing evidence of climate change affecting infectious disease risk in Western Europe. The call for effective adaptation to this challenge becomes increasingly stronger. This paper presents the results of a survey exploring Dutch expert perspectives on adaptation responses to climate change impacts on infectious disease risk in Western Europe. Additionally, the survey explores the expert sample’s prioritization of mitigation and adaptation, and expert views on the willingness and capacity of relevant actors to respond to climate change. An integrated view on the causation of infectious disease risk is employed, including multiple (climatic and non-climatic) factors. The results show that the experts consider some adaptation responses as relatively more cost-effective, like fostering interagency and community partnerships, or beneficial to health, such as outbreak investigation and response. Expert opinions converge and diverge for different adaptation responses. Regarding the prioritization of mitigation and adaptation responses expert perspectives converge towards a 50/50 budgetary allocation. The experts consider the national government/health authority as the most capable actor to respond to climate change-induced infectious disease risk. Divergence and consensus among expert opinions can influence adaptation policy processes. Further research is necessary to uncover prevailing expert perspectives and their roots, and compare these. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; public health; infectious diseases; climate change adaptation climate change; public health; infectious diseases; climate change adaptation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Akin, S.-M.; Martens, P.; Huynen, M.M. Climate Change and Infectious Disease Risk in Western Europe: A Survey of Dutch Expert Opinion on Adaptation Responses and Actors. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 9726-9749.

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