ECDC and WHO Europe annual influenza surveillance meetings: Working on influenza crucial - especially when it is less newsworthy

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On 7-9 June 2011, ECDC and WHO Europe jointly held their annual influenza surveillance meetings in Ljubljana, Slovenia. ECDC’s Influenza Programme Head Prof. Angus Nicoll highlighted the importance of cooperation with WHO and Member States for a consistent work on pandemic preparedness and seasonal influenza especially between pandemics, when the topic is less newsworthy.

On 7-9 June 2011, ECDC and the WHO Regional Office for Europe held jointly, for the first time, their annual influenza surveillance meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Hosted by the Slovenian National Public Health Institute and supported by the WHO Country Office, Slovenia, the meeting attracted over 150 representatives from all Member States. Reports on the unusual 2010-2011 influenza epidemics in Europe were presented, together with progress and recommendations on a wide range of virological and epidemiological related subjects.Member States representatives expressed their full support to ECDC to continue undertaking annual seasonal influenza risk assessments with WHO, as recommended in the report on the handling of the 2009 pandemic recently agreed at the 64th World Health Assembly.

In closing the meeting together with Dr Caroline Brown (WHO), ECDC’s Influenza Programme Head Professor Angus Nicoll stated: “This is an excellent example of how ECDC and WHO are cooperating together with Member States on pandemic and seasonal influenza. The achievements reached in the last year and the progress still needed show how important it is for influenza to have enduring and consistent work between pandemics, especially when influenza is less newsworthy”.

Read more:Meeting programmeMeeting scope and purposeECDC working document (31st May)ECDC review: WHO’s Final Report on the functioning of the International Health Regulations (IHR) in relation to the 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic – the Fineberg report