Surveillance and Response Support Unit

Stockholm, Sweden

Surveillance and Response Support Unit

Stockholm, Sweden
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van den Wijngaard C.C.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Hofhuis A.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Simoes M.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Rood E.,KIT Royal Tropical Institute Health | And 4 more authors.
Eurosurveillance | Year: 2017

Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most prevalent tick-borne disease in Europe. Erythema migrans (EM), an early, localised skin rash, is its most common presentation. Dissemination of the bacteria can lead to more severe manifestations including skin, neurological, cardiac, musculoskeletal and ocular manifestations. Comparison of LB incidence rates in the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) and Balkan countries are difficult in the absence of standardised surveillance and reporting procedures. We explored six surveillance scenarios for LB surveillance in the EU/EEA, based on the following key indicators: (i) erythema migrans, (ii) neuroborreliosis, (iii) all human LB manifestations, (iv) seroprevalence, (v) tick bites, and (vi) infected ticks and reservoir hosts. In our opinion, neuroborreliosis seems most feasible and useful as the standard key indicator, being one of the most frequent severe LB manifestations, with the possibility of a specific case definition. Additional surveillance with erythema migrans as key indicator would add value to the surveillance of neuroborreliosis and lead to a more complete picture of LB epidemiology in the EU/ EEA. The other scenarios have less value as a basis for EU-level surveillance, but can be considered periodically and locally, as they could supply complementary insights. © 2017, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). All rights reserved.

de Jong B.,Surveillance and Response Support Unit | Payne Hallstrom L.,Surveillance and Response Support Unit | Robesyn E.,Surveillance and Response Support Unit | Ursut D.,Surveillance and Response Support Unit | Zucs P.,Surveillance and Response Support Unit
Eurosurveillance | Year: 2013

In 2010, the European surveillance network for travel-associated Legionnaires' disease (ELDSNet, previously EWGLINET) received reports of 864 cases of travel-associated Legionnaires' disease, of whom 24 were reported to have had a fatal outcome. As in previous years, a very low proportion of clinical isolates were obtained (45 cases, 5.6%). In the 2010 dataset, male cases outnumbered female cases by 2.6:1 and had a median age of 61 years (range: 21-96), while the median age for women was 63 years (range: 12-95). The network identified 100 new clusters in 2010, of which 44 involved only one case from each reporting country and would probably not have been detected by national surveillance schemes alone. The largest cluster (having 14 cases) was associated with a cruise ship. Legionella species were detected at 61 of the 100 accommodation site clusters investigated. The names of five accommodation sites were published on the ECDC website.

Smallwood C.A.H.,World Health Organization | Arbuthnott K.G.,World Health Organization | Banczak-Mysiak B.,Chief Sanitary Inspectorate | Borodina M.,WHO Virtual Inter Disciplinary Advisory Group on Mass Gatherings | And 24 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2014

The revised international health regulations offer a framework that can be used by host countries to organise public health activities for mass gatherings. From June 8, to July 1, 2012, Poland and Ukraine jointly hosted the Union of European Football Associations European Football Championship Finals (Euro 2012). More than 8 million people from around the world congregated to watch the games. Host countries and international public health agencies planned extensively to assess and build capacity in the host countries and to develop effective strategies for dissemination of public health messages. The effectiveness of public health services was maximised through rapid sharing of information between parties, early use of networks of experienced individuals, and the momentum of existing national health programmes. Organisers of future mass gatherings for sporting events should share best practice and their experiences through the WHO International Observer Program. Research about behaviour of large crowds is needed for crowd management and the evidence base translated into practice. A framework to measure and evaluate the legacy of Euro 2012 is needed based on the experiences and the medium-term and long-term benefits of the tournament.

Mantero J.,Epidemic Intelligence group | Szegedi E.,Epidemic Intelligence group | Payne Hallstrom L.,Surveillance and Response Support Unit | Lenglet A.,Surveillance and Response Support Unit | And 5 more authors.
Eurosurveillance | Year: 2014

The 2010 FIFA World Cup took place in South Africa between 11 June and 11 July 2010. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), in collaboration with the hosting authorities, carried out enhanced epidemic intelligence activities from 7 June to 16 July 2010 for timely detection and monitoring of signals of public health events with a potential to pose a risk to participants and visitors. We adapted ECDC's routine epidemic intelligence process to targeted event-based surveillance of official and unofficial online information sources. A set of three specifically adapted alerts in the web-based screening system MedISys were set up: potential public health events in South Africa, those occurring in the participating countries and those in the rest of the world. Results were shared with national and international public health partners through daily bulletins. According to pre-established ECDC criteria for the World Cup, 21 events of potential public health relevance were identified at local and international level. Although none of the events detected were evaluated as posing a serious risk for the World Cup, we consider that the investment in targeted event-based surveillance activities during the tournament was relevant as it facilitated real-time detection and assessment of potential threats. An additional benefit was early communication of relevant information to public health partners.

Hartley D.M.,Georgetown University | Nelson N.P.,Georgetown University | Arthur R.R.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Barboza P.,French Institute for Public Health Surveillance InVS | And 13 more authors.
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2013

Internet biosurveillance utilizes unstructured data from diverse web-based sources to provide early warning and situational awareness of public health threats. The scope of source coverage ranges from local media in the vernacular to international media in widely read languages. Internet biosurveillance is a timely modality that is available to government and public health officials, healthcare workers, and the public and private sector, serving as a real-time complementary approach to traditional indicator-based public health disease surveillance methods. Internet biosurveillance also supports the broader activity of epidemic intelligence. This overview covers the current state of the field of Internet biosurveillance, and provides a perspective on the future of the field. © 2013 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Kinross P.,Surveillance and Response Support Unit | Beser J.,Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control | Troell K.,National Veterinary Institute SVA | Silverlas C.,National Veterinary Institute SVA | And 5 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2015

In March 2013, a veterinary student tested positive for Cryptosporidium; four classmates reported similar gastrointestinal symptoms. We aimed to identify source(s) and risk factors for Cryptosporidium infection in university persons symptomatic between 21 January and 14 April 2013. Sixty-four (79%) students from a cohort of 81 fourth-year veterinary students completed questionnaires, identifying 13 cases; four were Cryptosporidium parvum GP60 subtype IIaA16G1R1b, two were IIdA24G1, seven did not submit stool samples. Thirteen cases attended the university's field clinic before symptom onset (13/37 attendees, 35%); 11 visited at least one of four farms where students recalled seeing calves with diarrhoea. C. parvum subtype IIaA16G1R1b was identified in calves at one of the farms. Entering pens of calves with diarrhoea [relative risk (RR) 7·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·7-33·5] and eating in clinic cars (RR 9·1, 95% CI 1·3-65·8) were associated with being a case. Washing hands at least twice per farm visit (0 cases, P = 0·03) was protective. This outbreak investigation was notable for rapid and effective collaboration between public health, veterinary and environmental sectors, leading to swift identification of a microbiological and epidemiological link between cases, infected calves and their farms. We recommend frequent hand-washing using proper technique and dissuasion from eating in clinic cars to minimize possible exposure to contaminated surfaces. © European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) 2015 and Cambridge University Press 2015 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited..

Spiteri G.,Surveillance and Response Support Unit | Cole M.,Public Health England | Unemo M.,Örebro University | Hoffmann S.,Statens Serum Institute | And 2 more authors.
Sexually Transmitted Infections | Year: 2013

Antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae is monitored in the European Union/European Economic Area through the European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP) coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Euro-GASP includes a sentinel surveillance programme which aims to detect in a timely manner changes in resistance patterns and inform treatment guidelines. The programme aims to test a representative number of isolates from each European Union/European Economic Area member state per year for a range of therapeutically relevant antimicrobials through a biannual hybrid centralised/decentralised system. Testing is supported by an External Quality Assurance programme and a laboratory training programme. Participation in the programme has increased to 21 countries in 2012. Euro-GASP has been able to detect the rapid spread of isolates with decreased susceptibility to cefixime across Europe in 2010 and 2011. Results from the programme have informed changes in European treatment guidelines for gonorrhoea and led to the development of the 'Response plan to control and manage the threat of multidrug resistant gonorrhoea in Europe'. Future challenges for Euro-GASP include supporting countries to participate in Euro-GASP through decentralised testing, improving timeliness and epidemiological data quality, and increasing participation from Eastern Europe.

Bull M.,Public Health England | Hall I.M.,Public Health England | Leach S.,Public Health England | Robesyn E.,Surveillance and Response Support Unit
Eurosurveillance | Year: 2012

A literature review was conducted to highlight the application and potential benefit of using geographic information systems (GIS) during Legionnaires' disease outbreak investigations. Relatively few published sources were identified, however, certain types of data were found to be important in facilitating the use of GIS, namely: patient data, locations of potential sources (e.g. cooling towers), demographic data relating to the local population and meteorological data. These data were then analysed to gain a better understanding of the spatial relationships between cases and their environment, the cases' proximity to potential outbreak sources, and the modelled dispersion of contaminated aerosols. The use of GIS in an outbreak is not a replacement for traditional outbreak investigation techniques, but it can be a valuable supplement to a response. ©2007-2011. All rights reserved.

Rebolledo J.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Rebolledo J.,Health Protection Surveillance Center | Garvey P.,Health Protection Surveillance Center | O'Donnell J.,Health Protection Surveillance Center | And 12 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2014

Rapid and wide dispersal of passengers after flights makes investigation of flight-related outbreaks challenging. An outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg was identified in a group of Irish travellers returning from Tanzania. Additional international cases sharing the same flight were identified. Our aim was to determine the source and potential vehicles of infection. Case-finding utilized information exchange using experts' communication networks and national surveillance systems. Demographic, clinical and food history information was collected. Twenty-five additional cases were identified from Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, USA and Canada. We conducted a case-control study which indicated a significant association between illness and consumption of milk tart (OR 10·2) and an egg dish (OR 6) served on-board the flight. No food consumed before the flight was associated with illness. Cases from countries other than Ireland provided supplementary information that facilitated the identification of likely vehicles of infection. Timely, committed international collaboration is vital in such investigations. © 2013 Cambridge University Press.

Kramarz P.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Lopalco P.L.,Surveillance and Response Support Unit | Huitric E.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Pastore Celentano L.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2014

The role of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is to strengthen the capacity of the European Union (EU) Member States to protect human health through the prevention and control of infectious diseases. The main objective of the programme on vaccine-preventable diseases and invasive bacterial infections (VPD) is to provide robust evidence and high-quality technical support to the EU Member States to help them in their efforts to prevent and control VPD. Since the establishment of ECDC, several existing VPD surveillance networks have been transferred to ECDC, namely EU-IBIS, DIPNET and EUVAC. In addition to surveillance of diseases, ECDC is collecting information and monitoring other parameters that are of crucial importance for a well-functioning immunization system, including vaccination coverage. The VPD programme also provides independent scientific opinions in the area of immunization and initiates and coordinates scientific studies in the area of vaccination to answer specific questions of public health importance, including risk perception and analysis of behaviour in different population groups. One of the overall ECDC priorities over recent years is the Centre's involvement in measles elimination. The 'Message' tool and the 'Measles Atlas' are examples of work aiming at supporting the efforts of Member States in the elimination phase. © 2013 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

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