Flu News Europe

tool

Flu News Europe is a joint ECDC–WHO Europe weekly influenza update. It reports on influenza activity in Europe throughout the flu season.

About influenza surveillance

ECDC is an EU agency whose mandate includes the coordination of EU surveillance networks and the identification, assessment, and communication of current and emerging threats to human health from communicable diseases.

ECDC collects epidemiological and virological data from the EU/EEA Member States. The surveillance data reported comes largely from sentinel influenza surveillance systems, which cover a subset of the population in each country. Some countries conduct universal influenza surveillance, meaning that all cases meeting the relevant case definition are reported. Several countries also conduct surveillance of hospitalised cases. A sample of cases is also tested to determine virus characteristics.

The weekly surveillance of seasonal influenza is complemented by epidemic intelligence activities at ECDC, which encompass monitoring of official and unofficial sources on outbreaks and other influenza-related developments.

Flu News Europe: Weekly influenza update in the European region

During the influenza transmission season ECDC and the WHO Regional Office for Europe jointly reports on the influenza situation in the wider European region. The updates cover the 53 countries of the WHO European Region (including the EU/EEA Member States) and are published weekly in the report Flu News Europe. The updates are also published on the ECDC website (avaliable in the listing below).

These reports provide key data and analysis on a variety of issues including

  • A summary of the influenza intensity, spread and dominant virus type/subtype,
  • Sentinel surveillance of influenza-like illness and acute respiratory illness in primary care settings,
  • Hospital surveillance of severe influenza cases and related mortality surveillance,
  • Virus characteristics. The virus characteristics data provide information on the extent of the similarity to the vaccine virus strains, and accordingly vaccine effectiveness, pathogenicity, and susceptibility to antiviral treatments.
  • ECDC also regularly publishes stand-alone, detailed virus characterisation reports.

More about influenza surveillance

Disease / public health area

Seasonal influenza

Seasonal influenza is a preventable infectious disease with mostly respiratory symptoms. It is caused by influenza virus and is easily transmitted, predominantly via the droplet and contact routes and by indirect spread from respiratory secretions on hands etc.

Facts about influenza surveillance

The specific goal of influenza surveillance is to provide timely and high-quality data and viral isolates.