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 13935
Belgium 4395
Portugal 1801
Italy 3794
Great Britain 6105
Sweden 3559
Germany 153
Austria 303
Switzerland 79
France 6677
Spain 951
Ireland 401
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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About the Flusurvey

Flusurvey is an online system for measuring influenza trends in the UK. 

In contrast to traditional surveillance methods, Flusurvey collects data directly from the general public, rather than via hospitals or GPs. This is particularly important because many people with flu don't visit a doctor so don't feature in traditional flu surveillance. 

Anyone who lives in the UK can register to take part. When you register, you'll be asked to fill in a profile survey asking general questions about yourself and risk factors relevant to flu (for example, household size, age, and vaccination status). Each week, you'll be asked to report any flu-like symptoms you have experienced since your last visit. You can also take part on behalf of other people, for example household members. You'll be provided with the latest Flusurvey news and results, and regular updates on this season's flu epidemic.

Participation is entirely voluntary, and information is collected for research purposes only. All analysis is carried out on anonymous datasets. For more information about how we handle data provided by Flusurvey participants, please see our privacy policy.

About i-sense

i-sense aims to engineer a new generation of early-warning systems to identify infectious disease outbreaks - such as influenza, MRSA and HIV- much earlier than before, using self-reported symptoms on the web combined with mobile phone connected diagnostic tests.

Using innovative mobile and big data technologies, i-sense will help widen access to testing in GP surgeries, community settings and in the developing world and identify early indicators of an outbreak, even before people attend clinics. This will help patients gain faster access to treatment, keep them linked into follow-up care and support public health efforts to map indicators of emerging infections in real-time with geographically linked information.

Launched in October 2013, i-sense is a five year, £11m EPSRC-funded interdisciplinary research collaboration, led by University College London. It brings together a team of scientists, engineers and clinicians from five leading universities - UCL, Imperial College London, Newcastle University, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University of Surrey, jointly with Public Health England and industrial and clinical partners. 

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History of Flusurvey

The UK Flusurvey was launched on 16th July 2009, in the middle of the swine flu epidemic, which was fairly hectic. It is part of a Europe-wide initiative to monitor influenza-like illness (ILI) activity.

Over 5000 people signed up in 2009. The Flusurvey has continued ever since, and is about to enter its 5th year.

Flu surveys in other countries

The internet has been used to monitor patterns of influenza-like-illness (ILI) in the Netherlands and Belgium since 2003, in Portugal since 2005 and Italy since 2007. From 2011 France, Sweden, Spain, Denmark and Ireland are also running their versions of the Flusurvey.

Netherlands and Belgium: