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ECDC surveillance report on Legionnaires’ disease in Europe in 2010

19 Jul 2012
Legionnaires' disease surveillance report, 2010

ECDC published its annual surveillance report on Legionnaires’ disease in Europe in 2010.

In 2010, a total of 6 296 cases of Legionnaires’ disease were notified by EU Member States, Iceland and Norway, with a 11% increase from 2009. The majority of the cases were community-acquired, while around 20% were travel-associated.

The surveillance activity was carried out by the European Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance Network (ELDSNet) and coordinated by ECDC. This is the second annual report presenting the analysis of Legionnaires’ disease (LD) surveillance data in Europe. Data were collected through two different schemes, the first scheme covering all cases of LD reported from ELDSNet members, while the second scheme covers all reported cases of travel-associated Legionnaires’ disease (TALD), including reports from countries outside the EU. This document is therefore the first annual report that includes all reported cases of LD and TALD.

Collecting data on TALD at EU-level is crucial to identify and tackle clusters of Legionnaires’ disease that may not have been identified at a national level, particularly because in Europe, notification rates and laboratory diagnostic practice highly differ among countries.

Legionnaires’ disease is a multisystem disease involving pneumonia. Humans are infected by inhalation of aerosols containing Legionella bacteria. The diagnosis relies on specific laboratory tests, and the disease is considered to be widely underreported, mainly because it is under diagnosed by clinicians and under-notified to national authorities. The ELDSNet should continue its efforts on improving notification in countries where under-ascertainment probably remains quite high, especially by raising awareness, providing laboratory support and training, and evaluating the surveillance systems in place.

Read the full report ‘Legionnaires’ disease in Europe – 2010

Read more on ECDC site:
Legionnaires’ disease health topic site
ELDSNet Surveillance Network
European Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance Network (ELDSNet) - Operating procedures

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