Prevention and control of seasonal influenza
Seasonal influenza is a vaccine-preventable disease that each year infects approximately 10 to 30 % of Europe's population, and causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalisations across Europe. Vaccination is the most effective form of influenza prevention. Apart from vaccination and antiviral treatment the public health management includes personal protective measures.
Factsheet about seasonal influenza
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
Flu transmits easily from person to person. It does this through the air or from contaminated hands or surfaces. The risk of getting or causing infection is easily reduced by taking some simple preventive steps. Immunisation in particular decreases the risk of a person being infected. Proper use of flu vaccines is the most effective form of protection.
Risk groups for severe influenza
Some people are at high risk of serious complications as a result of influenza, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death. The risk groups includes people who are more likely than others to develop severe disease if they should be infected, such as the elderly, pregnant women, young children and people with underlying health conditions.
Types of seasonal influenza vaccine
Injected trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines are most commonly used throughout the world. Influenza antigen preparation varies between manufacturers. The inactivated influenza vaccines available in the EU/EEA may contain either split virion influenza virus products or subunit influenza products. Adjuvanted inactivated subunit influenza vaccine for older people is available in some EU/EEA Member States and is since 2015 authorised for younger children in Canada but not yet in Europe.
ECDC Expert meeting on non-pharmaceutical countermeasures for Pandemic flu
The meeting focused on the evidence base for the revision of the updated “Guide to public health measures to reduce the impact of influenza pandemics in Europe”, with a specific emphasis on non-pharmaceutical countermeasures for pandemic flu.
Systematic review on the incubation and infectiousness/shedding period of communicable diseases in children
Illnesses caused by infectious diseases are common in children in schools or other childcare settings. Currently there is no common EU approach to the control of communicable diseases in schools or other childcare settings, and existing information is uncertain.
Guide to public health measures to reduce the impact of influenza pandemics in Europe – ‘The ECDC Menu’
This document presents a menu of possible public measures to be taken during influenza pandemics, giving public health and scientific information on what is known or can be said about their likely effectiveness, costs (direct and indirect), acceptability, public expectations and other more practical considerations. The ‘ECDC Menu’ aims to help EU Member States and institutions, individually or collectively, decide which measures they will apply.