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EuroFlu - Weekly Electronic Bulletin, Week 40 : 30/09/2013-06/10/2013, 11 October 2013, Issue No. 499 (edited)

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  • EuroFlu - Weekly Electronic Bulletin, Week 40 : 30/09/2013-06/10/2013, 11 October 2013, Issue No. 499 (edited)

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

    EuroFlu - Weekly Electronic Bulletin, Week 40 : 30/09/2013-06/10/2013, 11 October 2013, Issue No. 499

    Low influenza activity in the WHO European Region

    Summary, week 40/2013
    • This is the first bulletin of the 2013/2014 season.
    • Influenza activity is low and at out-of-season levels in Europe.
    • The majority of countries reported no geographic spread and a low intensity of influenza.
    • None of the sentinel and non-sentinel influenza-like illness (ILI)/acute respiratory infection (ARI) specimens and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) specimens tested was positive for influenza

    The EuroFlu bulletin describes and comments on influenza activity in the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region to provide information to public health specialists, clinicians and the public on the timing of the influenza season, the spread of influenza, the prevalence and characteristics of circulating viruses (type, subtype and lineage) and severity.

    For a description of influenza surveillance in the WHO European Region see below.

    Virological surveillance for influenza

    During week 40/2013, a total of 150 specimens was tested for influenza, but none was positive (Fig. 2).


    As no influenza viruses were detected during week 40/2013, only 7 countries reported on dominant virus type (as none) (Map 1).

    Virus strain characterizations

    Influenza viruses are assessed each season for their antigenic and genetic characteristics, to determine the extent of their antigenic similarity to the viruses included in the seasonal influenza vaccine, and determine the prevalence of mutations that affect pathogenicity or are associated with susceptibility to antiviral drugs. No viruses have been antigenically and genetically characterized or screened for susceptibility to the neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir and zanamivir this season.

    For the 2013/2014 northern hemisphere influenza season, WHO recommended inclusion of A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like, A(H3N2) virus antigenically like the cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011*and B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like viruses in vaccines (see the WHO headquarters web site).

    Outpatient surveillance for influenza-like illness (ILI) and/or acute respiratory infection (ARI)

    During week 40/2013, all reporting countries in the Region reported low influenza activity (Map 2) with most of the countries reporting a stable trend (Map 4) with mainly no or sporadic influenza activity (Map 3), which is usual for this time of year.

    ILI and ARI consultation rates were below the national baselines or at pre-season levels in all countries reporting clinical data during week 40/2013.


    The proportion of ILI and ARI cases testing positive for influenza in the Region is low; none of the sentinel samples tested was positive (Fig. 5).


    None of the 37 specimens collected from sentinel sources tested positive during week 40/2013. Click here for a detailed overview in a table format.


    Hospital surveillance for SARI

    In week 40/2013 the number of SARI hospitalizations was at pre-season levels in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine: countries that submitted data during week 40/2013 and took part in hospital surveillance for SARI (Fig. 7).


    None of 31 SARI samples collected in Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan tested positive for influenza during week 40/2013. Click here for a detailed overview in table format.


    For more information on surveillance of confirmed hospitalized influenza, please see ECDC?s Weekly Influenza Surveillance Overview (WISO) at European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control web site.

    EuroMOMO (European Mortality Monitoring Project)

    EuroMOMO is a project set up to develop and operate a routine public health mortality monitoring system to detect and measure, on a real-time basis, excess deaths related to influenza and other possible public health threats across 20 European Union (EU) countries.

    Analysis of pooled data from 16 countries or regions showed that overall all-cause mortality has been - apart from excess mortality peaks in single countries during the summer period - around normal levels since the end of the winter season 2012/2013.

    Results of pooled analysis may vary, depending on which countries are included in the weekly analysis. For more information about the EUROMOMO mortality monitoring system please click here).