Science&Tech Tropical diseases go North, and Europe should reinforce the defenses Posted on March 2, 2021 3 min read Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Tropical diseases such as the West Nile Virus are becoming more common in Europe. Last summer there were first infections with this virus as far as the Netherlands. The European Commission is concerned and therefore explicitly addresses the rise of Tropical Diseases in a new climate plan. One of the recommendations is that more knowledge should be shared, not only between member states, but also between researchers and public authorities. “We need to know how to react in the event of another pandemic. We’ll have to increase our resilience. These are all things that do not stop at the borders, and that, as Europeans, we collectively need to do,” said Frans Timmermans, the vice-president of the European Commission. Biologist Arnold van Vliet finds the call of the European Commission important. “We are in the midst of climate change and we need to make full progress to adapt to it.”Sharing knowledge is essential, according to Van Vliet. Wageningen University is investigating mosquitoes and their role in the spread of tropical diseases. Thousands of people sent beaten mosquitoes so that researchers can see which mosquitoes spread disease. The importance of countries and municipalities having the right knowledge is underlined, among other things, by the increasing number of reservoirs that are made to collect water. These are essential to combat the increasing drought in certain areas. But if these reservoirs are not properly made and not properly maintained, they are the ultimate attraction for mosquitoes. And in doing so, the solution of one issue becomes a new problem. “We do not have the illusion that we are getting rid of the mosquito problem. But we do hope to identify the risks in time so that you can avoid problems” , says Van Vliet.