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ECDC EXECUTIVE UPDATE 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) Issue 28 Monday, 01 February 2010: 2556 (+ 104) deaths in EU and EFTA countries

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  • ECDC EXECUTIVE UPDATE 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) Issue 28 Monday, 01 February 2010: 2556 (+ 104) deaths in EU and EFTA countries

    2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1)

    Issue 28

    Monday, 01 February 2010

    Weekly influenza surveillance overview highlights

    ? Medium influenza like-illness or severe acute respiratory infection (ILI/ARI) activity was reported in five countries and an increasing trend only in Poland and Slovakia.

    ? Widespread geographic activity was reported in Greece and the UK (Wales).

    ? Of the 840 swabs performed by sentinel physicians, 15% were found positive for influenza A virus.

    ? Since week 40/2009, 99% of sub-typed specimens were identified as the pandemic virus. Among the tested specimens, 2.7% were resistant to oseltamivir.

    ? The number of severe acute respiratory infection cases continued to decline. Fifty-two percent of new cases were admitted to intensive care units and 37% needed ventilator support.


    European surveillance

    Possible composition of the next influenza vaccines ? Looking ahead from the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic to the 2010?11 season

    It is still too early to talk about what the new influenza vaccines for next season should contain. However, given the predominance of the new 2009 A(H1N1) this autumn and winter, A(H3) viruses reported this season it is likely that next season?s influenza vaccine will be recommended to include the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) strain as was recommended for by WHO for the Southern Hemisphere winter, which will start around June or July.

    What now has to be done is to determine the characteristics of the upcoming seasonal influenza based first on the growing knowledge of the 2009 pandemic influenza, then on the experiences from the new influenza season first in the Southern Hemisphere and then in Europe. These characteristics should then be compared to those of the previous seasonal influenza to be able to determine a rational approach to mitigation, treatment and vaccination. An ECDC article on this was published in Eurosurveillance earlier this year. The responsibility for making recommendations on the precise antigen to be used for seasonal vaccines in the European Northern Hemisphere?s 2010?11 season will be decided during the annual influenza vaccine composition meeting taking place in February 2010. Following the recommendations issued by the WHO, the European Medicines Agency will issue its own recommendations during the spring.

    For further information on vaccines, please see the article ?Pandemic influenza A(H1N1) 2009 vaccines in the European Union? by K Johansen, A Nicoll, BC Ciancio and P Kramarz, published in Eurosurveillance on 15 October 2009. The ECDC Q&As on vaccines and vaccination for experts and for the general public can be found on the ECDC 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) web page.

    Vaccination remains the most potent countermeasure for any human influenza. Given the significant risks to health from the pandemic, ECDC would strongly advise all Europeans who have been offered the vaccine to be vaccinated. By being vaccinated you protect not just your own health, but that of the people around you.

    A group especially singled out for attention and immunisation by the European Council are healthcare workers. The most important reason for healthcare workers to be immunised is to protect vulnerable patients who often belong to risk groups.

    Other effective countermeasures: The usual hygiene and personal measures should continue to be promoted. These include regular hand washing, using tissues and staying at home if sick. There is very little resistance to the drugs used against seasonal influenza (oseltamivir and zanamivir) and treatment with antivirals is working, especially if given early; however, the seasonal influenza vaccine gives little protection against 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus.

    Figure 1: Deaths reported among 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) cases in EU and EFTA countries (from week 25/2009 to week 04/2010)

    see attachment


    (report as of 25 January 2010, related thread: )
    + 104 (in week 4) = 2556 deaths

    Note! These data represent deaths attributed to pandemic influenza and reported on EU/EEA country national web-sites by the relevant authorities. They are gathered by ECDC through active surveillance. Because of reporting delay and incomplete reporting they will be more than the deaths that have been reported to ECDC by national authorities such that appear in the Weekly Influenza Surveillance Overview. They will also be an underestimate of the true number of deaths due to influenza.
    Attached Files