Via Flu News Europe, Week 04/2016 (25-31 January 2016). Excerpt:
• Thirty-one of the 50 Member States that reported epidemiological data from surveillance for influenza-like illness (ILI) and acute respiratory infection (ARI) indicated increasing rates; 34 countries reported influenza virus detections in specimens from sentinel sources for week 04/2016, indicating increased influenza activity in the WHO European Region as a whole.
• Belarus, Greece, Ireland and Malta indicated high-intensity influenza activity, as in the previous week, and Finland, the Russian Federation and Ukraine reported very high activity.
• A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses predominated, accounting for 67% of sentinel surveillance detections of influenza in the WHO European Region.
• The predominance of A(H1N1)pdm09 corresponded to an increase in cases of severe disease, mainly in people aged 15–64 years.
• For week 04/2016, countries reported increasing numbers of cases of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI), as well as a high percentage of influenza-positive specimens.
• So far, a predominance of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses has characterized the 2015–2016 influenza season; these may cause more severe disease and death in adults aged 15–64 years than A(H3N2) viruses.
• Since week 52/2015, several European countries with sentinel surveillance systems for SARI have reported increasing numbers of cases associated with A(H1N1)pdm09 infection. Similarly, countries reporting laboratory-confirmed influenza cases in hospitals and intensive care units (ICUs) have detected influenza A virus in the majority of cases since the start of the season, with A(H1N1)pdm09 being the dominant subtype (94%).
• Most of the viruses characterized so far have been antigenetically similar to the strains recommended for inclusion in this winter’s trivalent or quadrivalent vaccines for the northern hemisphere.
Additional information on influenza in the world is available from WHO´s global updates.