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Home Eurosurveillance Weekly Release  2003: Volume 7/ Issue 26 Article 2
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Eurosurveillance, Volume 7, Issue 26, 26 June 2003

Citation style for this article: Paget WJ. Protocol for the evaluation of clinical data collected by the European Influenza Surveillance Scheme. Euro Surveill. 2003;7(26):pii=2248. Available online:

Protocol for the evaluation of clinical data collected by the European Influenza Surveillance Scheme

John Paget (, EISS co-ordination centre, NIVEL, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

A protocol to evaluate the clinical data collected by the European Influenza Surveillance Scheme (EISS) is now available at (1). It has been developed to help standardise surveillance procedures within EISS and harmonise the clinical influenza data that is being collected, and is part of a larger quality control project within EISS that includes the assessment of virological testing for influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (2).

The evaluation protocol has been developed for the collection of clinical data by sentinel practice surveillance networks. The sentinel practices report cases of influenza-like illness and/or acute respiratory infection and collect respiratory specimens for virological testing (3). Based on evaluation guidelines from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO), the protocol was pre-tested in the Netherlands (May 2001) and France (April 2001), and was used to evaluate the Belgian and Spanish surveillance networks during the 2001-2002 influenza season (4). EISS is currently planning the evaluation of two other surveillance networks during the 2004-2005 influenza season.

It is hoped that the evaluation protocol will be useful for national/regional influenza surveillance systems in Europe and elsewhere. The protocol is being shared with WHO, and an evaluation group in Finland (SUREVAL) that is funded by the European Commission to develop methods to evaluate the European Union's epidemiological surveillance networks (5).

  1. Aguilera JF. Protocol for the evaluation of the quality of clinical data within the European Influenza Surveillance Scheme. EISS Protocol, December 2002. (
  2. Vallette M, Aymard M. Quality control assessment of influenza and RSV testing in Europe: 2000-01 season. Eurosurveillance 2002; 7: 161-5. (
  3. Paget W, Meerhoff TJ, Goddard N, on behalf of EISS. Mild to moderate influenza activity in Europe and the detection of novel A(H1N2) and B viruses during the winter of 2001-02. Eurosurveillance 2002; 7: 147-57. (
  4. Aguilera J-F, Paget WJ, van der Velden J. Development of a protocol to evaluate the quality of clinical influenza data collected by sentinel practitioners in Europe. Eurosurveillance 2002; 7: 158-60. (
  5. Decision no 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 1998. Setting up a network for the epidemiological surveillance and control of communicable diseases in the community. Official Journal of the European Communities 1998; L 268/1, 3.10.98. (

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