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Archive. ECDC and EuroFlu Influenza Updates, 2011.

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  • #61
    EuroFlu - Weekly Electronic Bulletin - Week 49 : 05/12/2011-11/12/2011 - 16 December 2011, Issue N° 423 (edited)

    [Source: Euroflu, full page: (LINK). Extracts, edited.]
    EuroFlu - Weekly Electronic Bulletin - Week 49 : 05/12/2011-11/12/2011 - 16 December 2011, Issue N° 423


    Overall low levels but slowly increasing influenza activity in some countries in the WHO European Region
    • This issue is based on data for week 49/2011 reported by 48 Member States in the WHO European Region.
    • Levels of influenza activity in the Region remain low.
    • Sporadic detections of influenza A(H3N2), influenza B, and influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 have been reported.

    Current situation: week 49/2011

    Consultation rates for influenza-like illness (ILI) and acute respiratory infection (ARI) continue to be low throughout the WHO European Region.

    Out of 42 countries reporting on trends, 33 reported stable trends, while 5 reported increasing and 4 reported decreasing trends.

    In general, consultation rates were highest in young children.

    Of the 43 countries reporting on the geographical distribution of influenza activity, 12 reported sporadic activity (Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) and 1 reported local activity (the Netherlands).

    All countries reported low intensity of influenza activity and low impact on their health care services.

    In week 49, data from sentinel hospital-based surveillance for severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) were reported by 10 countries: Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine. Sentinel SARI hospitalizations in these countries are at pre-season levels.

    Further information on the sentinel SARI surveillance systems represented in the EuroFlu bulletin can be found in “Overview of sentinel SARI systems in EuroFlu”.



    Virological situation: week 49/2011

    Sentinel outpatient clinics collected 935 respiratory specimens, of which 22 (2.4%) tested positive for influenza viruses: 21 were type A and 1 was type B.

    Of the influenza A viruses, 15 were subtyped as influenza A(H3).

    In addition, 61 non-sentinel specimens were reported positive for influenza: 56 type A and 5 type B.

    Of the influenza A viruses, 27 were subtyped: 22 as A(H3) and 5 as A(H1)pdm09.

    Sentinel hospitals collected 123 respiratory specimens from SARI patients, none of which tested positive for influenza virus.



    Cumulative virological data: weeks 40–49/2011

    During this period, 384 influenza virus detections were reported: 311 (81%) were influenza A and 73 (19%) were influenza B.

    Of the influenza A viruses, 207 were subtyped: 172 (83%) as A(H3) and 35 (17%) as A(H1)pdm09.

    Since week 40/2011, 8 influenza viruses have been characterized antigenically: 2 were A(H1)pdm09 A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like; 2 were A(H3) A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like; 2 were B/Florida/4/2006-like (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage); 1 was B/Bangladesh/3333/2007-like (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage); and 1 was B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage).

    Out of 9 influenza viruses characterized genetically, 1 belonged to the A(H1)pdm09 group represented by A/Astrakhan/1/2011; 6 belonged to the group represented by A/Stockholm/18/2011 and 2 to the group represented by A/Iowa/19/2010, both in the A/Victoria/208/2009 A(H3) clade.



    Comment

    Consultation rates for ILI and ARI in outpatient clinics and hospitalizations due to SARI are at low levels throughout the WHO European Region.

    There have been sporadic detections of influenza A(H3N2), influenza B and influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 during recent weeks.

    However, the number of countries reporting sporadic and local geographical distribution of influenza activity is increasing slightly.

    The percentage of sentinel samples that tested positive for influenza in week 49/2011 (2.4%) remained low, as is common for this time of year, while respiratory syncytial virus detections have slowly increased since week 40/2011 (see the graphs for Europe, season 2011/2012.



    Further information

    The EuroFlu bulletin describes and comments on influenza activity in the 53 countries in the WHO European Region. Further information can be obtained from the WHO/Europe, WHO headquarters and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control web sites.

    (…)



    Country comments (where available)

    Norway: Whereas the number of influenza virus detections in Norway remains low, there has an increase of influenza A detections in weeks 48 & 49. All 30 influenza A viruses analysed in Norway over the first weeks of this season have consistently been of H3 subtype. A number of the viruses from week 49 have tested negative for H1pdm09 in the primary laboratory and are expected to be confirmed as subtype H3 in the national reference laboratory.


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    Comment


    • #62
      ECDC: While epidemics have not yet started across Europe there is still time to protect yourself against influenza

      The latest edition of the Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report shows that Europe is still reporting low influenza activity. ECDC has been monitoring the patterns of human influenza infection in the southern hemisphere countries in their winters as well as our own experience in Europe of last season as this gives some indication of what can be expected in the following northern hemisphere winter.

      In a recent published article in Eurosurveillance, ECDC experts highlighted the diversity of experience in the 2011 influenza season (May to October) in the southern hemisphere. Though this was dominated by the A(H1N1) viruses that emerged during the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic and influenza B viruses, the proportion of these two varied between and within countries and influenza A(H3N2) viruses were also seen. It is important to note that the pattern of influenza in the southern hemisphere is only one of the many factors that the Centre takes into consideration in formulating its annual risk assessment in relation to severity and impact for epidemics of influenza.

      During the influenza season citizens should adopt preventative measures recommended by their national authorities. These include personal hygiene measures and vaccination for those recommended. Vaccination is the single most effective way to prevent serious illness.

      ECDC Director Marc Sprenger says: "Every year we know that many people, especially those in risk groups, will suffer as a consequence of influenza. ECDC takes its role in monitoring and providing scientific evidence on influenza very seriously in order to help countries and citizens prepare for the upcoming influenza season. However, even where we have experiences from other parts of the world to draw from we must also recognise that influenza is always unpredictable. Anticipating the precise nature of the European influenza season is difficult.

      ECDC will continue to monitor activity in Europe in order to get the best picture of the emerging season but in the meantime I would like to stress that all Europeans who are recommended to have the influenza vaccine by their national authorities should get vaccinated as soon as possible. It is not too late to get vaccinated and it is of particular importance for those in the recognised risk groups and for healthcare workers".

      More on this topic:

      ECDC publication: Influenza surveillance in Europe: Experience of influenza in Europe in the 2010/11 season
      Eurosurveillance, Volume 16, Issue 50, 15 December 2011: Preliminary implications for Europe of the 2011 influenza season in five temperate southern hemisphere countries
      Weekly influenza surveillance overview
      ECDC Forward Look Risk Assessment: Seasonal influenza 2010–2011 in Europe


      http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/press/news/...124029a&ID=537

      Comment


      • #63
        EuroFlu - Weekly Electronic Bulletin - Week 50 : 12/12/2011-18/12/2011 - 23 December 2011, Issue N° 424 (edited)

        [Source: EuroFlu, full page: (LINK). Extract, edited.]

        EuroFlu - Weekly Electronic Bulletin - Week 50 : 12/12/2011-18/12/2011 - 23 December 2011, Issue N° 424


        Influenza activity remains low in the WHO European Region
        • This issue is based on data for week 50/2011 reported by 49 Member States in the WHO European Region.
        • Levels of influenza activity in the Region are low.
        • Sporadic detections of influenza A(H3N2), influenza B and influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 have been reported.

        Current situation: week 50/2011

        Consultation rates for influenza-like illness (ILI) and acute respiratory infection (ARI) remain at pre-season levels in most countries of the WHO European Region.

        Of 46 countries reporting on trends in respiratory disease activity, 35 reported stable trends, 6 reported increasing trends and 5 reported decreasing trends.

        Of the 46 countries reporting the geographical distribution of influenza activity, 25 reported no activity, 3 reported local activity and 18 reported sporadic activity.

        In week 50, data from sentinel hospital-based surveillance for severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) were reported by 8 countries: Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine.

        Although some countries have been reporting slight increases in recent weeks, SARI hospitalizations remain at pre-season levels, with no laboratory confirmed cases of influenza this week.

        Further information on the sentinel SARI surveillance systems represented in the EuroFlu bulletin can be found in Overview of sentinel SARI systems in EuroFlu.



        Virological situation: week 50/2011

        Sentinel outpatient clinics collected 979 respiratory specimens, of which 45 (5%) tested positive for influenza viruses: 42 were type A and 3 were type B.

        All 34 influenza A viruses subtyped were identified as A(H3).

        In the 15 countries testing 20 or more sentinel specimens, influenza positivity ranged from 0% to 17% (Turkey).

        Among these countries, France, Germany, Israel, Spain and Turkey have observed increases in influenza activity in recent weeks.

        In addition, 75 non-sentinel specimens were reported positive for influenza: 65 as type A and 10 as type B.

        Of the influenza A viruses, 23 were subtyped: 22 as A(H3) and 1 as A(H1)pdm09.

        Sentinel hospitals collected 127 respiratory specimens from patients with SARI, none of which tested positive for influenza virus.



        Cumulative virological data: weeks 40–50/2011

        During this period, 527 influenza virus detections were reported: 440 (83%) were influenza A and 87 (17%) were influenza B.

        Of the influenza A viruses, 281 were subtyped: 244 (87%) as A(H3) and 37 (13%) as A(H1)pdm09.

        Since week 40/2011, 12 influenza viruses have been characterized antigenically:
        • 2 were A(H1)pdm09 A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)–like,
        • 6 were A(H3) A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)–like,
        • 2 were B/Florida/4/2006-like (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage),
        • 1 was B/Bangladesh/3333/2007-like (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage), and
        • 1 was B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage).
        Of 23 influenza viruses characterized genetically,
        • 3 belonged to the B/Bangladesh/3333/2007 clade (Yamagata lineage),
        • 1 belonged to the A(H1)pdm09 group represented by A/Astrakhan/1/2011,
        • 1 belonged to the B/Brisbane/60/2008 clade (Victoria lineage) and
        • 18 belonged to the A/Victoria/208/2009 A(H3) clade – 14 in the group represented by A/Stockholm/18/2011 and 4 in the group represented by A/Iowa/19/2010.

        Comment

        Influenza activity remains low throughout the WHO European Region, although some countries are observing increasing activity.

        Consultation rates for ILI and ARI in outpatient clinics and SARI admissions in hospitals are also at pre-season levels in most countries.

        Influenza A(H3N2), influenza B and influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 have been sporadically detected during recent weeks, with 5% of sentinel samples testing positive for influenza this week – an increase from 2% in the previous week.

        Respiratory syncytial virus detections continue to increase in some countries.

        Please note that there are errors in the reported number of ILI consultations (week 49) and the number of SARI admissions (week 50) for Kazakhstan. The data are currently being corrected.



        Further information

        The EuroFlu bulletin describes and comments on influenza activity in the 53 countries of the WHO European Region.

        Further information can be obtained from the web sites of WHO/Europe, WHO headquarters and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

        (…)



        Country comments (where available)

        Kazakhstan: In week 50/2011, 181 respiratory specimens were collected of which: 0 tested positive for influenza virus, 4 were adenoviruses, 5 respiratory syncytial viruses (RSV) and 8 parainfluenza-1.

        Norway: Whereas the number of influenza virus detections in Norway remains low, there has an increase number of influenza A detections in weeks 48 through 50. All except one out of 35 influenza A viruses subtyped in Norway so far this season have been of H3 subtype.

        Romania: Laboratory investigations have been performed for 86% of SARI cases.

        Detected pathogens were:
        • ten parainfluenza virus type 1;
        • one parainfluenza virus type 2;
        • four parainfluenza virus type 4;
        • three RSV type B;
        • two adenovirus;
        • two rhinovirus;
        • two bocavirus;
        • one Coronavirus 229E/NL63;
        • one H.influenzae;
        • seven Str.pneumoniae;
        • one Ps.aeruginosa + Klebsiella spp.
        To date, the total positivity rate for SARI cases has been 59% and the positivity rate for influenza in SARI cases 0%.


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        Comment


        • #64
          Archive. ECDC Influenza Update, 2011.

          This archive contains influenza surveillance updates from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC).

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