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New Guidance For Influenza Surveillance In Humans

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

WHO/Europe’s newly released guidance contains practical suggestions for implementing hospital and outpatient-based site surveillance, including:

* criteria for selecting sentinel sites;

* forms for epidemiological data collection;

* procedures for collecting, testing, storing and transporting laboratory specimens;

* report templates for weekly and annual data summaries; and

* pandemic preparedness support functions.

It complements, not replaces, the “Human infection with pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus: updated interim WHO guidance on global surveillance”.

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The guidance includes the input of a Member States expert working group that met in February 2009.

The guidance is particularly designed for national surveillance institutes, communicable disease epidemiologists, laboratory specialists responsible for influenza surveillance and people conducting surveillance at sentinel sites in the WHO European Region.

The publication will be available in Russian, as well as English.

Regional influenza surveillance meeting

WHO/Europe will hold its annual influenza surveillance meeting on 9–11 September 2009, in St Petersburg, Russian Federation:

* to give an overview of the status of this surveillance in the WHO European Region, particularly in relation to pandemic (H1N1) 2009;

* to focus on WHO global requirements and the new WHO/Europe guidance; and

* to provide training in using the WHO/Europe influenza surveillance platform.

The participants will include focal points for the epidemiological and virological surveillance of influenza, designated by the health authorities of participating Member States.