The prediction has been made by a research team led by Apostolos Vantarakis
of the University of Patros, Greece. According to a press brief
provided by the European Research Media Center
, Vantarakis has been involved in an EU funded project, called Viroclime. The project aims at tracking harmful viruses from human sewage in Europe's waters and help weight up health risks.
The prediction, as the Viroclime
site indicates, is based on the premise that increases in rainfall in some countries, due to climate change, will affect waterborne outbreaks of disease. This is because storms and persistent rainfall can lead to sewage overflows, which releases water with bacteria and viruses into the waterways.
For the research two families of virus have been used to track for increased incidents. The first is the noroviruses family (linked to the winter vomiting bug). The second type belongs to the adenoviruses family. The viruses have been modeled in five case studies: Sweden, Spain, Hungary, Greece and Brazil (the reason why Brazil has been included in a European study is not specified).
As well as screening for incidents, the scientists hope that the research will allow various climate change scenarios to be run and for the findings to contribute to health protection measures.