On an operational level, EISN consists of operational contact points for influenza epidemiology and virology. These are nominated by the national public health authority in each EU Member State, Iceland and Norway.
In communicating with Member States, EISN utilises National Focal Points, who are responsible for overseeing interactions between ECDC and individual Member States regarding activities related to the disease.
Weekly data collection
- Aggregate consultations for influenza-like illness (ILI) or Acute Respiratory infections (ARI) by age group, reported by sentinel primary health care providers.
- Qualitative indicators: intensity, geographic spread and trend.
- Virological data: types and subtypes of influenza viruses collected from sentinel and non-sentinel sources, genetic and antigenic characterisation of tested viruses, antiviral susceptibility and detections of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
- Case-based data on hospitalised severe influenza: age group, causative influenza
(sub-) type, vaccination status, underlying conditions.
EISN builds on the European Influenza Surveillance Scheme (EISS) which was coordinated by the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research, NIVEL.
EISS began in 1996 and built on earlier surveillance networks in Europe: the Eurosentinel scheme (1987-1991) and the ENS-CARE Influenza Early Warning Scheme (1992-1995). From 1999 until September 2006, EISS was funded by the European Commission (DG Sanco). From October 2006 until September 2008, ECDC financed EISS through framework contracts to support the network’s laboratory component.
EISS formally became EISN in September 2008. Since its beginning, it has been coordinated by ECDC with the assistance of a coordination group of experts from within the network.