Climatic conditions across Europe are becoming more suitable for emergence and transmission of climate‑sensitive infectious diseases. Zika is a viral disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitos. Symptoms typically include fever, rash, pains or malaise and are generally mild. However, Zika virus infections during pregnancy can cause infants to be born with malformations, preterm birth or miscarriage. Beside worldwide travel, climate change is also contributing to the increasing disease burden from the Zika virus in Europe since climatic conditions become more suitable for the virus and its mosquito vector.

One way of measuring the health threats associated with dengue under the changing climate is to estimate the changes in the basic reproduction rate (R0) associated with climatic conditions), hence estimating the expected number of secondary infections from one infectious case in a completely susceptible population. If R0 is higher than 1, outbreaks have the potential to grow. The higher R0 is, the faster the outbreak will grow.


Key caveats and limitations of the V model and its parameterisation are fully described by Liu-Helmersson et al. (20142016) and Rocklöv et al. (2019). The predicted R0 should not be confused with actual Zika cases, although it is an indicator of the potential for outbreaks.

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: ECMWF ERA5 Land Reanalysis data, retrieved from the Copernicus Climate Change Service Climate Data Store
  2. Population data: hybrid gridded data combining:
    • NASA-SEDAC Gridded Population of the World (GPW) v4   
    • ISIMIP historic and future annual global gridded population data

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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