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 12982
Belgium 4007
Portugal 1879
Italy 3515
Great Britain 5179
Sweden 0
Germany 105
Austria 28
Switzerland 35
France 5921
Spain 869
Ireland 499
Denmark 0
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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Gene can make mild influenza a life-threatening disease

Gene can make mild influenza a life-threatening disease

A new finding could help explain why influenza becomes a life-threatening disease for some people but has only mild effects in others. Research led by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has identified for the first time a human gene that influences how we respond to influenza infection.

People who carry a particular variant of the gene IFITM3 are significantly more likely to be hospitalised when they fall ill with influenza than those who carry other variants, the team found. This gene plays a crucial part in protecting the body against infection with influenza, and a rare version of it seems to make people more susceptible to severe forms of the disease. The results are published in the journal 'Nature'.

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March 26, 2012, 2:31 p.m.