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[Structure of the Surveillance and management of infectious diseases in the European Union. The EU surveillance networks and the European Centre for Disease Prevention und Control (ECDC)].

[Article in German]

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Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin.


In 1998, the European Parliament and Council published the Decision on setting up a network for the epidemiological surveillance of communicable diseases in the Community. As a first step, the Network Committee (representatives of the Member States) and the Commission determined the diseases for European surveillance. Subsequently, case definitions were developed for these diseases. For rapid information exchange among Member States on serious diseases, outbreaks and the control measures taken, a web-based, password protected early warning system was established. In parallel disease-specific networks were developed for enhanced surveillance of important diseases. A training programme (EPIET) and a European bulletin (Eurosurveillance) complete the network. The directive on the monitoring of zoonoses constitutes the basis for the joint analysis and evaluation of data on human illnesses, animals and foods. Starting in May 2005, the coordination and further development of the Community Network will be carried out by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

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