The RespiVirNet surveillance (collection of reports of cases of influenza-like syndrome – ILI) started on 16 October 2023 (42nd week of 2023), and will end in the 17th week of 2024 (Sunday 28 April 2024), subject to further communications related to the national epidemiological situation . It is hoped that RespiVirNet surveillance can continue throughout the summer/autumn period (until the 41st week of 2024).
The general objective of the RespiVirNet surveillance system is to establish a database to evaluate the trend in the incidence of ILI during this year.
The RespiVirNet (formerly InfluNet) surveillance system is based on a network of sentinel doctors made up of General Practitioners (GPs) and Free Choice Paediatricians (PLS), recruited by the Regions, who report cases of flu-like syndrome ( ILI) observed among their clients. The sentinel doctors (sentinel flow) and other doctors operating in the area (non-sentinel flow) and in hospitals (hospital flow) also collaborate in the collection of biological samples for the identification of circulating viruses.
The collection and processing of disease reports is carried out by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) which provides processing at a national level and produces a weekly report which is published on the website of the Ministry of Health.
Virological investigations on the biological samples collected are carried out by the laboratories belonging to the InfluNet Network (now called RespiVirNet) and by the National Influenza Center (NIC) of the ISS. The NIC processes virological data at a national level and produces a weekly report, which is published on the website of the Ministry of Health. The NIC is part of the international network of laboratories coordinated by WHO and the European network coordinated by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The ISS and the NIC provide weekly sending of both epidemiological data to ECDC and virological data to WHO and ECDC.
The center for the return of information on the national trend of influenza, via the press and IT, is set up at the Ministry of Health, directed at: operators, users and European and international surveillance systems. The close collaboration between all the components mentioned, starting from the sentinel doctors, has proven essential in the past for the seasonal monitoring of ILI.