ECDC has had a group from EU countries and its partners (WHO and EMEA) looking at the issues around how surveillance (epidemiological and virological) will function in a pandemic. This is a difficult area as simultaneously there will be heightened demand for information for action and situation reports while at the same time clinical systems that usually provide information are likely to be prejudiced by excessive demand, pressure on staff and staff sickness.
There is also a need to distinguish targeted surveillance, answering key questions which will guide or trigger action: has the virus arrived in our country? what is the case fatality rate? are antivirals helping? what is the spectrum of disease? etc from the vital need of managers for more general situation monitoring.
These and other issues are discussed in the paper along with recommended objectives and a workplan for ECDC and its partners.