Annual meeting of the European Influenza Surveillance Network
The annual meeting of the European Influenza Surveillance Network brought together representatives from the 31 EU/EEA Member States as well as participants from other countries.
The ECDC annual meeting of the European Influenza Surveillance Network (EISN) prepared in collaboration with the EISN Coordination Committee, brought together epidemiological and virological surveillance contact points and representatives from reference laboratories from the 31 EU/EEA Member States as well as participants from EU pre-accession countries, Eastern European Neighbourhood Policy partner countries, the WHO Regional Office for Europe, and involved international institutions.
The meeting focused on new developments in influenza surveillance and in seasonal influenza vaccination programmes. It served as a forum for analyzing prevalence of A(H3N2) and B drifted viruses and their consequences, and provided an update with regard to outbreaks of avian influenza and other emerging respiratory pathogens around the world. A presentation was also given on global infectious disease governance, and its previous and expected alterations.
The 2014-15 season had seen a large dominance of A(H3N2) in almost all countries and an increasing dominance of B viruses when A(H3N2) declined. There had also been antigenic and genetic drift of A(H3N2) that resulted in antigenic properties dissimilar to the 2014–2015 vaccine virus and very low vaccine effectiveness. Overall the season had been severe.
- It was agreed that a common tool to assess influenza severity in seasonal influenza epidemics should be used, either the WHO Pandemic Influenza Severity Assessment (PISA) tool or an adaptation of it. Additionally, there was broad agreement that RSV surveillance will be required to document the impact of RSV vaccines that are being developed.
- There was also overall agreement that strain-based influenza reporting should continue where established, and that weekly collection of aggregated data on influenza isolated specimens was not necessary. Furthermore, there was strong support for the development of on-line learning materials for laboratory techniques.
It was noted that highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks of H5N1 and H5N8 had occurred in the WHO European Region, an important increase of human H5N1 cases was observed in Egypt during the last half-year, and an increased endemicity of H7N9 in poultry in China with an increasing number of human cases. Therefore preparedness of veterinary and public health authorities would be required.
ECDC ENLabCap consultation meeting with EU enlargement countries
1 Feb 2018 to 2 Feb 2018 - Overall aim of this regional ENLabCap consultation workshop is to discuss the adjustments proposed to the current EULabCap tool and agree on those needed to adapt it for the EU enlargement countries.
E-learning course on how to increase influenza vaccination uptake
25 Oct 2017 - It is important that healthcare workers (HCWs) get vaccinated against seasonal influenza since they can get influenza from, and transmit influenza to, patients and other HCWs. This e-learning course has been developed since seasonal influenza vaccination of HCWs is recommended in Europe but vaccination uptake remains low in most countries. It provides information about how to assess the uptake and barriers to vaccination, as well as examples of successful campaigns that have increased the vaccination among HCWs. The target audience is public health professionals who organize vaccination campaigns for HCWs.
ERS Training Course: Acute respiratory pandemics: how to plan and manage
9 Nov 2017 to 11 Nov 2017 - This practical course will cover outbreak investigation, pandemic planning, recent developments in respiratory pathogen biology and therapy, and will focus around two practical scenarios in which participants will gain experience in managing an acute epidemic.