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Infectious Disease decision-support tools and Alert systems to build climate Resilience to emerging health Threats

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IDAlert (Infectious Disease decision-support tools and Alert systems to build climate Resilience to emerging health Threats)

Reporting period: 2022-06-01 to 2023-11-30

Climate changes is leading to trends in suitability and geographical ranges of hosts, vectors and pathogens and is aggravating the risk of vector-borne and zoonotic infectious disease outbreaks in Europe. In order to increase preparedness and adaptative management, policy and decision-makers need data and tools to monitor and respond to the constantly changing risks. IDAlert is contributing to this by development of case-study specific and Pan European tailored monitoring of climate-induced disease risk by indicators, decision-support tools for climate early warning, and future scenario-based assessment for informing on changes in the risk landscape at decadal lead times. The project particularly addresses vulnerable groups. IDAlert is further engaged in developing novel surveillance and outbreak responses tools, including citizen science with AI spectral and image analyses for insect visual learning, and solar powered lab suitcases for pathogen detection. IDAlert further rigorously studies interventions together with local stakeholders in case-study areas, such as interventions in the urban infrastructure, Nature-based Solutions, including its intended and unintended consequences. IDAlert is in a partnership with the European Lancet Countdown on Climate Change and Health and provides indicators for infectious diseases to the reports. Some of these indicators are uploaded on the EEA climate and health observatory observatory. The disseminations and capacity building in IDAlert engages with the public and key stakeholders at the local and European level frequent online materials and in-person meetings. The IDAlert project is based on participatory approaches and engages in stakeholder needs assessment, collective prioritization, inclusive decision making, and shared knowledge generation. Due to the complexity of the challenge, and the many sectors affected, It involves diverse stakeholders from different disciplines, sectors, and level of decision authority.
In RP1 IDAlert published a scientific paper describing the project's unique approach in the Lancet Regional Health-Europe. It has further uploaded indicators to the European Lancet Countdown which has been published in Lancet Public Health and disseminated together with the EEA Climate and Health Observatory. Some of the indicators have been uploaded into the observatory.

During RP1 several further indicators have been developed in WP2 and existing indicators have been fundamentally improved. In RP2, these indicators will be disseminated. The new indicators will include socio-economic stratification and identify better vulnerable groups and unintended consequences. The indicators at hand in RP1 have been shared with WP3 and the creation of the platform for climate early warnings using these disease-specific indicators has started. One fundamentally important stakeholder workshop providing user perspectives took place in RP1.

Citizen science and novel data streams is a strong component of IDAlert WP4, and during RP1 the mosquito alert app and citizen science activities were started in Greece and Germany. Citizen science for tick detection was initiated in Sweden and a pipeline for automatic tick classification using visual learning has been successfully initiated. Smart traps for mosquitoes are deployed in study sites, and a lab suitcase has been tested for field-based pathogen analyses. The activities are implemented in the case-study areas of IDAlert.

The work in WP5 has rolled out interventions that are being evaluated in case-study sites and is preparing further case-study data collection and evaluation. This includes studying the indirect consequences of Nature-based Solutions. There are more components of behavioral targeted interventions, as well as policy inventories of European adaptation.

WP6 engaged the consortium in a workshop to plan the use of indicators in projections of disease risks and listed a number of indicators at hand and their characteristics. A scenario-based assessment has been prepared which will investigate climate change impacts in the future, vulnerabilities, and the potential of adaptive solutions in different climate futures.

The media profile of IDAlert is relatively high. The project website, newsletter, and social media are appreciated by many. The project engages in capacity building and stakeholder engagements and several activities are in the making for RP2+.
IDAlert has provided both updates to indicators and new indicators of climate-sensitive infectious diseases that goes beyond the state-of-the-art. It has contributed to the development of new AI powered citizen science tools for surveillance and well as testing out adaptation solutions in the urban environment to control vector-borne diseases, most of which are yet to be disseminated.