Are European laboratories ready to detect COVID-19?
A first assessment looking at the preparedness of EU/EEA laboratories to detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) demonstrates a fast implementation of molecular diagnostics by the European specialised laboratory networks. It also shows a good geographical coverage for testing.
Increase in avian influenza virus outbreaks in Europe
Since the beginning of January, outbreaks of high pathogenic A(H5N8) and low pathogenic A(H5N1) avian influenza viruses have been reported in the central eastern part of Europe. To minimise risk, people that are exposed to potentially infected birds should avoid direct unprotected contact to birds or their droppings and take appropriate personal protection measures.
Ready to respond: ECDC fellowship programme fellows supporting Europe’s response to the novel Coronavirus
As fully-fledged professionals in applied epidemiology (EPIET) and public health microbiology (EUPHEM), the fellows of the ECDC Fellowship Programme work all across the European Union and European Economic Area in public health institutes and laboratories. At this stage, some 16 fellows from two current cohorts are involved in the work to prepare and respond to the on-going health threat from the novel Coronavirus detected in China.
Novel coronavirus: three cases reported in France
The first confirmed cases in Europe are not unexpected. The fact that these cases were identified, proves that detection and confirmation of this novel virus is working in France, showing a high level of preparedness to prevent and control possible infections of 2019-nCoV.
European Immunization Week, 2020
European Immunization Week (EIW) is marked across the European Region every April. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of immunisation for people’s health and well-being. ECDC supports the European Immunization Week campaign lead by WHO/Europe by providing scientific evidence on immunisation.
Update: Cluster of pneumonia cases associated with novel coronavirus – Wuhan, China – 2019
As of 13th January 2020, 59 probable cases of pneumonia associated with a novel coronavirus have been reported in Wuhan City, China. Most cases had an epidemiological link to a Seafood City market (a wholesale market for seafood and live animals).
ECDC plans e-health proof-of-concept studies from 2020
ECDC is planning to perform a number of e-health proof-of-concept (POC) studies from 2020 for a total of four years. The publication of the call for tender is preliminary planned for the first quarter of 2020.
2019 Seasonal influenza assessment: currently dominating viruses point at possible heavy impact on the elderly and healthcare systems
The first virus detections for the 2019/2020 season indicate co-circulation of influenza types A (71%) and B (29%) viruses in the WHO European Region. This is a mix which potentially could result in high mortality in elderly patients and a heavy burden on healthcare services, warns the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe in a joint assessment issued today.
EU Laboratory capacity up by 13% over the past 5 years
The new EULabCap data on microbiology system performance in the 30 EU/ EEA countries show continuous improvement.