ECDC: More than 300 outbreaks alerts assessed since EPIS-FWD launch

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock/LindasPhotography
©iStock/LindasPhotography
An updated version of a restricted web-based communication platform to ensure early detection and coordinated response to multi-state outbreaks has been launched.

Starting in 2010, the Epidemic Intelligence Information System for food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses (EPIS-FWD) has assessed 305 outbreak alerts with 32 (10%) from countries outside of the EU/EEA.

The International Network of Food Safety Authorities (INFOSAN) managed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) can contribute to the EPIS-FWD when international outbreaks involve non-EU/EEA countries.

The Molecular Typing Cluster Investigation (MTCI) module was expanded to allow assessment of Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) and Listeria monocytogenes microbiological clusters based on non-human isolates (i.e. food, feed, animal and environmental) and a mix of non-human and human isolates.

Depending on the type of cluster assessed, the MTCIs are coordinated by ECDC or EFSA or jointly with public health and/or food safety and veterinary experts from European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) Member States.

Another feature is the Urgent Inquiries and associated forums which are outbreak alert and investigation tools.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has collected human typing data through the European Surveillance System (TESSy) since 2013.

Other restricted systems include the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) and the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS).

A total of 52 countries from five continents have access to outbreak alerts in the EPIS-FWD.

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