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Special Communication
October 21, 1998

FluNet as a Tool for Global Monitoring of Influenza on the Web

Author Affiliations

From the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) Unit 444 (Epidémiologie et Sciences de l'Information), Paris, France (Drs Flahault, Chaberty, and Valleron); and the Division of Emerging and Other Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Control, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland (Drs Dias-Ferrao, Esteves, and Lavanchy). Dr Esteves is deceased.

JAMA. 1998;280(15):1330-1332. doi:10.1001/jama.280.15.1330

In collaboration with the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed an Internet application linking the global WHO network of influenza centers (FluNet; http://oms.b3e.jussieu.fr/flunet/). During 1997, 22 pilot centers entered data on influenza activity and viral laboratory results directly into FluNet via secured access. In addition, 54 centers sent data to WHO for entry. Four countries (the Russian Federation, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) reported widespread outbreaks of at least 4 weeks' duration. The FluNet server ran 24 hours a day without interruption. To improve management and enhance standardization of reporting, this early-alert system for the global monitoring of influenza provides international and national authorities, the public, and the media with full access to real-time epidemiological and virological information.

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