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Disease acquired in one country but diagnosed and reported in another, necessitates international cooperation if it is to be controlled, investigated and further cases prevented. The European surveillance scheme for travel associated legionnaires' disease (EWGLINET) was established in 1987 to operate in this type of context and has been highly active in sharing information and coordinating its actions since then. In July 2002 European guidelines were introduced by EWGLINET that have standardised the response to clusters across most countries in Europe. Three papers presented in this special issue show how the guidelines have been successfully adopted in France (1), Italy (1) and Spain (2), despite the additional workload associated with their implementation. The paper from the coordinating centre in London provides an overview of EWGLINET results in 2002.


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