The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has launched on 7 June the First European Communicable Disease Epidemiological Report in partnership with the European Commission and the German Presidency of the EU.
The ECDC report concludes that European citizens are reasonably well protected against most communicable diseases.
The EU-wide incidence of most of the 49 diseases examined was low by international standards and the ten year trend, for most, was either stable or declining.
The key areas of concern highlighted in the ECDC report are:
Rising rates of healthcare associated infections, especially those due to antibiotic resistant bacteria
Rising rates of HIV infection
The continued threat from tuberculosis in Europe
The threat posed by influenza and pneumococcal infections
The report has made use of and built on the existing European Union and European data sets to maximize the return on the investment already made by the Member States and European Institutions.
The conclusions exposed in the report point out that Healthcare-associated infections, particularly those caused by drug resistant microbes, are possibly the biggest infectious disease challenge facing the EU. One in every ten patients entering hospital in the EU catch a new infection while in hospital and around 50.000 deaths in the EU are attributable to these infections each year.
Also, it emphasizes the importance of strengthing prevention, control and surveillance in the EU and warns: “the emerging significant threat of healthcare-associated infections becomes more difficult to tackle with the tendency of increasing independence of the hospital sector”.
Highlights from ECDC’s annual report
Executive Summaryfrom ECDC’s report