How NESS Collects Data


The National Enterovirus Surveillance System (NESS) is a passive, voluntary surveillance system that collects basic data on specimens positive for enterovirus or human parechovirus, including serotype. NESS has been collecting laboratory data on types of enteroviruses (including coxsackieviruses and echoviruses) and parechoviruses in the United States since the 1960s.

Type-based enterovirus and parechovirus surveillance in the United States helps to:

  1. determine long-term patterns of circulation for individual enteroviruses and parechoviruses,
  2. interpret trends in enterovirus and parechovirus diseases (e.g., aseptic meningitis) by associating them with circulating types,
  3. identify outbreaks associated with circulating types,
  4. guide development of new diagnostic tests and therapies, and
  5. monitor poliovirus detections, by supplementing clinician-based poliomyelitis testing in the United States. Both paralytic poliomyelitis and non-paralytic poliovirus infections are nationally notifiable.

Keep reading: NESS Surveillance Data

Data Collection

The web-based NESS system, which uses REDCap, has been available to participating laboratories since July 2009, and makes reporting to CDC easier, allows for more timely recognition of enterovirus and parechovirus outbreaks, and viral trends in activity. Laboratories with capacity to serotype are encouraged to report to NESS to help improve geographic and temporal surveillance.

Collaborating public health and commercial laboratories report monthly to CDC positive enterovirus and parechovirus detections by

  • serotype,
  • specimen type,
  • collection date,
  • age, and
  • sex.

For a selected list of reports using NESS data, see Enterovirus Surveillance.