Thursday

1st Dec 2022

Nuclear and chemical are 'top EU health threats'

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The EU says member states need to prepare for possible nuclear and chemical threats — whether accidental or deliberate.

The announcement on Tuesday (12 July) was among the top three cross-border health threats that need to be collectively tackled by the bloc.

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The first of the three threats are pathogens with a high risk of triggering a pandemic.

The second is chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. And the third is antimicrobial resistance.

"These threats require coordination at the European level and a joint reaction," a European Commission spokesperson told reporters in Brussels.

It means EU states must now prepare for the worst by stocking up on supplies, including medication and personal protective medical equipment.

The announcement was not directly linked to Russia's war in Ukraine but the prospect of deliberate attacks figure among the listed threats.

That list was drawn up by Hera, also known as the European health and emergency preparedness and response authority.

It noted that radiological and nuclear threats identified were based on the likelihood of their occurrence, whether by accident or in a deliberate release.

Hera says it consulted EU states, national agencies, chief medical officers and other experts on which threats need priority treatment.

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