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

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Developing the framework for an epidemic forecast infrastructure.

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

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Participating countries and volunteers:

The Netherlands 0
Belgium 0
Portugal 1593
Italy 4841
Great Britain 0
Sweden 3559
Germany 0
Austria 0
Switzerland 1352
France 0
Spain 1030
Ireland 355
Denmark 3199
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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Ireland could be about to face the 'worst flu season on record'


Irish hospitals are being warned to get ready for a potentially busy flu season.

It follows a "heavy" outbreak of the H3N2 virus in Australia and New Zealand - with both countries currently recovering from their worst outbreaks on record.

The number of patients needing hospital treatment in these areas doubled compared to last year.

And now emergency medical consultant Dr Fergal Hickey warned that Ireland could also be facing the same strain of the virus as early as the end of 2017.

A spokesperson for the HSE confirmed to that the flu vaccine this season will protect against three strains of the virus, including the H3N2-like one.

They said: "This year's seasonal flu vaccine contains protection against 3 strains of flu virus recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the strains most likely to be circulating this season."

"The three strains are: an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like strain, an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like strain, a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like strain."

The spokesperson went on to say that the flu vaccination programme will begin in October this year, when those at risk of the virus - including pregnant women and young children - will be asked to get the jab.
It comes as Dr Hickey previously warned a similar strain of the H3N2 could be hitting Ireland in "late 2017, but mainly in early 2018".
He told the Irish Daily Mail: "If they’re saying in Australia that the version of influenza that has pitched up there at this time of the year is having a massive impact, it will have a similar impact everywhere else."
“So it will come here in late 2017 but mainly in early 2018. I have no reason to doubt any of that."

"The reality is that influenza starts in Asia and makes its way. It follows the same pattern every year: it makes its way to western Europe in the early part of the calendar year.”

Dec. 20, 2017, 2:53 p.m.