Surveillance of communicable diseases

Surveillance systems provide information for monitoring the trend of communicable diseases, early detection of outbreaks, and help to identify risk factors, and need for interventions. They provide information for priority setting, planning, implementation and resource allocation for preventive programmes and for evaluating preventive programmes and control measures.

Under Decision 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and the Council that established the network for the epidemiological surveillance and control of communicable diseases in the Community, a number of implementing measures have been adopted and currently a list of communicable diseases and public health issues related to communicable diseases, including their case definitions, exists.

Recently the case definitions have been updated and a mechanism has been put in place to have new diseases and new definitions rapidly adopted, as happened during the Pandemic Influenza A(H1N1).