The European Influenza Surveillance Network (EISN) is coordinated by ECDC. The network combines epidemiological and virological surveillance of influenza to provide decision makers and public health experts in EU/EEA Member States with the information required to better assess influenza activity in Europe and take appropriate action. Ultimately, EISN aims to contribute to reducing the burden of disease associated with influenza in Europe.
Virological surveillance activities are coordinated through the European Reference Laboratory Network for Human Influenza (ERLI-Net), a sub-network within EISN.
Weekly analysis of influenza surveillance is available at Flu News Europe, a joint output from ECDC and the WHO Regional Office for Europe. For global updates, see information from WHO.
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
The following epidemiological and virological influenza surveillance data are collected through The European Surveillance System (TESSy) database hosted by ECDC:
- 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.