Your questions answered: join the #FLUchat on Twitter

WHO/Europe experts will answer questions on influenza during a live Twitter chat on Thursday, 1 November 2012, 14:00–15:00 UTC/GMT (15:00–16:00 CET).

Topics for discussion include:

  • influenza vaccine: who is eligible and why you should be vaccinated
  • influenza symptoms, spread and steps to take if you become ill
  • tracking influenza in the 53 countries in the European Region
  • guidance and recommendations.

#FLUchat: how to send questions

Send questions as tweets to @WHO_Europe, using the hashtag #fluchat.

If you are unable to join the live chat, leave questions for the experts on WHO/Europe’s Facebook page.

Background

Autumn heralds the start of the 2012–2013 influenza season in the European Region.

Although mostly mild, the disease can be more serious among some groups, and WHO recommends that the influenza vaccine be offered to: people who live in nursing homes, are elderly and/or disabled, or have chronic medical conditions; pregnant women; health care workers; and small children (starting from the age of 6 months).

Unfortunately, vaccine uptake levels are well below the WHO target. WHO/Europe advises national health authorities on how to engage key groups and address low uptake.

Every year, WHO/Europe collects surveillance data to find out what type of flu virus is circulating, where and how many people become sick. It publishes this information in a weekly online bulletin available in English and Russian.

WHO/Europe also develops and publishes guidance and recommendations for health professionals, those who study and track influenza and the public. The guidelines cover a range of issues, such as recommendations for influenza vaccination and case management, and standards for infectious disease and influenza laboratories.