Via Flu News Europe: Week 05/2016 (1-7 February 2016). Click or tap through for the full post including an interactive country-by-country list and graphs. The summary:
• Twenty-five of the 50 Member States that reported epidemiological data from surveillance for influenza-like illness (ILI) and acute respiratory infection (ARI) indicated increasing rates in week 05/2016; 38 countries reported influenza virus detections in specimens from sentinel sources, indicating increased influenza activity in the WHO European Region as a whole.
• Belarus, Greece and Ireland indicated high-intensity influenza activity; Finland, the Russian Federation and Ukraine reported very high activity, as in the previous week.
• A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses predominated, accounting for 87% of subtyped sentinel surveillance detections of influenza virus.
• An increase in cases of severe disease, mainly in people aged 15–64 years, was seen again this week, with most of them associated with A(H1N1)pdm09.
• So far, a predominance of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses has characterized the 2015–2016 influenza season; this virus subtype may cause more severe disease and deaths in adults aged 15–64 years than A(H3N2) viruses.
• Since week 52/2015, several European countries with sentinel surveillance systems for severe acute respiratory infection (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 the dominant subtype.
• Most of the viruses characterized so far have been similar to the strains recommended for inclusion in this winter’s trivalent or quadrivalent vaccines for the northern hemisphere.
• Risk assessments for the season are available from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and WHO.