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.
Influenzanet: a network of European citizens fighting against influenza
Influenzanet is a Europe-wide network to monitor the activity of influenza-like-illness (ILI) with the aid of volunteers via the internet. It is operational in eleven countries. In contrast with the traditional system of sentinel networks of mainly primary care physicians, 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.
Click on each country to visit the national platform.
December Focus: there's no such thing as "man flu"!
Flusurvey coordinator Professor John Edmunds, Head of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “Over Christmas we may be a bit more sociable than normal with drinks after work and parties but it’s difficult to say if this increases our risk of flu or not.
“If you look closely at GP reports of influenza-like-illness they sometimes level off or even decline a little over the Christmas holidays. This is probably because schools are closed, which will reduce virus transmission, or because some GP surgeries are closed so cases do not get reported.
“Reporting via Flusurvey will help us study these factors, especially as we are asking people to tell us how much social interaction they have had with other people each week. This should tell us whether our contacts really do change very much over the Christmas period, and whether that affects our risk.”
Among the other questions researchers want to explore is whether “man flu” exists.
While reports of seasonal flu are still at a low level, early analysis of data collected so far reveals that overall women report more flu-like symptoms than men – 11,200 per 100,000 women compared with 9,300 per 100,000 men.
Asked how they felt on a scale of 0-100 where 0 was the worst and 100 the best (the “man flu” question), the results showed the following:
No difference between healthy men and women – the median score for both was 90
No difference between men and women with cold symptoms (not influenza like illness) - median of 75 among women and 78 for men
No difference between men and women who reported flu-like symptoms – median of 60 for both male and female participants
“The data are very preliminary and flu levels are still very low but overall the results suggest that contrary to what we expected to find, there is no such thing as man flu. “The next step is to find out if there is a difference in perceived cause of illness – i.e. do men and women report this differently? For example, are men more likely to claim they have flu when they actually do not have symptoms consistent with flu. “We appeal to people to take part in the Flusurvey to help us answer these questions and more and increase our understanding of seasonal flu.”
See more at: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/newsevents/news/2012/flusurvey_preliminary_findings.html#sthash.BdlKiYoI.dpuf
The value of participatory surveillance
Recent research from the US shows the value in influenza-tracking web systems, as they can be used to estimate influenza attack rates. The system used - FluNearYou - is a participatory web based system similar to FluSurvey.Read more...
The data collection for 2015-2016 flu season is now active
More than 35,000 people have signed up to the online health monitoring projects in the various European countries participating to Influenzanet, since the launch of the national platforms during the month of November 2015. Flu activity is still very low all around Europe but, thanks to the close monitoring of the Influenzanet web platforms, the rise of the influenza levels will be tracked in real time.Read more...
Influenzanet is a system to monitor the activity of influenza-like-illness (ILI) via the internet with the aid of volunteers. We have tried to ensure that all information we provide through this website is correct at the time we include it.