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Diagnostics and Surveillance

European Influenza Surveillance Scheme

EC contribution
: € 1 439 790
: 36 months
Starting date
: 1/09/2003
: Public Health Programme
: Surveillance, influenza, epidemiology, virology
Project Number
: 2003204


The European Influenza Surveillance Scheme (EISS) publishes a weekly surveillance report on influenza activity during the winter. The report covers a total population of 484 million people in 30 countries and is based on data reported by roughly 13 000 sentinel physicians.

EISS also operates the Community Network of Reference Laboratories for Human Influenza in Europe (CNRL). The CNRL includes 38 laboratories across Europe and its objective is to provide high quality reference services for human influenza surveillance, early warning and pandemic preparedness.


Influenza is a major public health problem in Europe. It is associated with higher general practice consultation rates, increased hospital admissions and excess deaths. It must also be considered in terms of health care planning, increased days lost due to absence from work and influenza pandemic planning. Worldwide influenza pandemics in the twentieth century occurred in 1918-20 (more than 20 million deaths), 1957-58 and 1968-70.

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