The European Influenza Surveillance Network (EISN) consists of contact points for influenza surveillance (epidemiological and virological) nominated by the Competent Bodies for surveillance of the Member States. Epidemiological and virological surveillance data on influenza are collected through The European Surveillance System (TESSy).
By analysing the data on a weekly basis and issuing a weekly report, ECDC aims to provide to decision makers in Member States and national public health experts the basis to better assess influenza activity in Europe and to make available more accurate epidemiological and virological information to their governments, health care professionals and the general public.
Participating in the network are all EU Member States, Iceland and Norway.
History and funding
EISN builds on the European Influenza Surveillance Scheme (EISS) which was coordinated by the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research NIVEL.
EISS started in 1996 as a project funded by the national governments. Later it was funded by the European Commission (DG Sanco) - from 1999 until the end of September 2006. Since October 2006 until September 2008 when it took over the coordination, ECDC financed it through two consecutive grants.
EISS builds on earlier surveillance networks in Europe – the Eurosentinel scheme (1987-1991), followed by the ENS-CARE Influenza Early Warning Scheme (1992-1995).
Since September 2008 the coordination of the European Influenza Surveillance Network (EISN) has been the responsibility of ECDC. It is assisted in its task by a Coordination Group of experts from the network.
ECDC issues a Weekly Influenza Surveillance Overview (WISO), a surveillance report based on the data collected by sentinel physicians and the data collected and processed by national coordination centres. The report contains a clinical and virological overview of the current week and of the season. For each reporting country, clinical and virological data for the week are presented in a table. The table also links to a clinical and virological overview by country and season.
The European Reference Laboratory Network for Human Influenza (ERLI-Net) has its roots in a collaborative effort to perform influenza surveillance through sentinel networks, which started in 1996 with seven European countries. Over the years, the collaboration was further intensified leading to the creation of the Community Network of Reference Laboratories for Human Influenza in Europe (CNRL), which since June 2013 has been called the European Reference Laboratory Network for Human Influenza (ERLI-Net).
The ERLI-Net currently includes the reference laboratories for influenza from all European Union Member States, Iceland and Norway.
The ERLI-Net is closely associated with the WHO through its network of National Influenza Centres (NICs) and collaboration with the WHO-Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Mill Hill, London.
From September 2008, ECDC is responsible for the coordination of the network. The coordination activity was outsourced through an open call for tender to a consortium led by the Health Protection Agency in London.