Climatic conditions across Europe are becoming more suitable for emergence and transmission of climate‑sensitive infectious diseases. West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus causing mild to severe fevers and potentially other health conditions. Warmer winters and springs can drive outbreaks of the West Nile virus or expand it to previously unaffected regions as both the virus and its vector mosquito (Culex sp.) thrive at warmer temperatures.


The WNV cases data related to human infections only were considered in the study. However, data on equines infections and host birds infections on the NUTS 3 level could also have been incorporated upon availability. The inclusion of the infections data for the equines and the host birds would further strengthen the model predictions though XGBoost performed reasonably well to handle the severe class-imbalance due to its flexibility of numerous hyperparameters tunning options.

Reference information



van Daalen, K. R., et al., 2022, ‘The 2022 Europe report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: towards a climate resilient future’, The Lancet Public Health 7(11), pp. E942-E965. doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(22)00197-9.

Data sources:

  1. Climatic data: Population data: ECMWF ERA5 Land Reanalysis data, retrieved from the Copernicus Climate Change Service Climate Data Store
  2. Infection data: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) data on West Nile Virus infections

Additional reading

Lancet Countdown in Europe

Published in Climate-ADAPT Dec 5, 2022   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Apr 4, 2024

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