Influenzanet is a system to monitor the activity of influenza-like-illness (ILI) with the aid of volunteers via the internet

http://www.influenzanet.eu/

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Developing the framework for an epidemic forecast infrastructure.
http://www.epiwork.eu/

The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) bundles all research-related EU initiatives.

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Participating countries and volunteers:

The Netherlands 12264
Belgium 3995
Portugal 2149
Italy 4681
Great Britain 3519
Sweden 3559
Germany 216
Austria 560
Switzerland 1216
France 1
Spain 1013
Ireland 351
Denmark 2922
InfluenzaNet is a system to monitor the activity of influenza-like-illness (ILI) with the aid of volunteers via the internet. It has been operational in The Netherlands and Belgium (since 2003), Portugal (since 2005) and Italy (since 2008), and the current objective is to implement InfluenzaNet in more European countries.

In contrast with the traditional system of sentinel networks of mainly primary care physicians coordinated by the European Influenza Surveillance Scheme (EISS), InfluenzaNet obtains its data directly from the population. This creates a fast and flexible monitoring system whose uniformity allows for direct comparison of ILI rates between countries.

Any resident of a country where InfluenzaNet is implemented can participate by completing an online application form, which contains various medical, geographic and behavioural questions. Participants are reminded weekly to report any symptoms they have experienced since their last visit. The incidence of ILI is determined on the basis of a uniform case definition.

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Seasonal Influenza

Seasonal influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that is characterised by a sudden onset of fever, accompanied by muscle pain or headache, and a cough or sore throat. In Ireland, the influenza season typically starts in October, and continues through to late May. 

In additional to the debilitating nature of influenza for individuals, international studies have consistently highlighted the adverse economic impact of the virus due to absenteeism, and also how it can adversely impact on an individual’s productivity in the workplace.

Here are a number of videos related to influenza:

  • Next, we have a video from the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC)
  • Here is a quite technical, yet visually excellent, animation explaining influenza. The author is David Hager, and it is available on YouTube. Click on the image to run (the page will forward you to YouTube).