Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Global Influenza Update – March 9th

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# 9802

 

Although it has been a heavily H3N2-centric flu season in North America and most of Europe, as the map above shows, portions of Africa and parts of the Middle and Far East have seen a good deal of seasonal H1N1 (aka A(H1N1)pdm09), which continues to be misrepresented in the press in some nations as `swine flu’ or in some cases `bird flu’.

 

While influenza has peaked across much of the Northern Hemisphere, and is on the decline in North America, some countries are still reporting abundant flu activity.

 

We continue to see hyperbolic press accounts of India’s H1N1 Outbreak, and almost daily suggestions that something `has changed’ with the virus, but so far no evidence has been presented that the virus has altered either its genetic profile or behavior. 

 

Meanwhile, the re-formulated flu vaccine for the next Southern Hemisphere flu season  - which includes the `drifted’ H3N2 strain that has caused considerable illness in the Northern Hemisphere this winter – should be available sometime in April.

 

This from the World Health Organization Global Flu Update.

 

 

Influenza update

9 March 2015 - Update number 232, based on data up to 22 February 2015

Summary

Globally, influenza activity remained high in the northern hemisphere with influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominating. Some countries in Africa, Asia and southern part of Europe reported an increased influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 activity.

  • In North America, the influenza activity remained elevated following the influenza peak. Influenza A(H3N2) remained the dominant virus detected this season
  • In Europe, the influenza season was at its height, particularly in central and western countries . Influenza A(H3N2) virus continued to predominate this season.
  • In northern Africa and the middle East, influenza activity was decreasing in most of the region. Influenza A was predominant in the region.
  • In the temperate countries of Asia, influenza activity decreased from its peak in northern China and Mongolia, but continued to increase in the Republic of Korea. Influenza A(H3N2) virus predominated.
  • In tropical countries of the Americas, influenza activity remained low in most countries.
  • In tropical Asia, influenza activity continued to increase in India and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Influenza activity remained high in southern China, China Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • In the southern hemisphere, influenza activity continued at inter-seasonal levels.
  • The vaccine recommendation for the 2015-2016 northern hemisphere winter season was made and can be consulted at the link below:
  • Based on FluNet reporting (as of 5 March 2015 16:25 UTC), during weeks 6 to 7 (8 February 2015 to 21/02/2015), National Influenza Centres (NICs) and other national influenza laboratories from 89 countries, areas or territories reported data for the time period from 8 to 21 February 2015. The WHO GISRS laboratories tested more than 133 895 specimens. 34 056 were positive for influenza viruses, of which 25 455 (74.7%) were typed as influenza A and 8601 (25.3%) as influenza B. Of the sub-typed seasonal influenza A viruses, 2382 (20.5%) were influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and 9253 (79.5%) were influenza A(H3N2). Of the characterized B viruses, 1656 (97.1%) belonged to the B-Yamagata lineage and 49 (2.9%) to the B-Victoria lineage.

 

 

FluNet Summary

9 March 2015

Source: Laboratory confirmed data from the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS).

Based on FluNet reporting (as of 5 March 2015, 16:25 UTC), National Influenza Centres (NICs) and other national influenza laboratories from 89 countries, areas or territories reported data for the time period from 8 to 21 February 2015.a The WHO GISRS laboratories tested more than 133 895 specimens. 34 056 were positive for influenza viruses, of which 25 455 (74.7%) were typed as influenza A and 8601 (25.3%) as influenza B. Of the sub-typed seasonal influenza A viruses, 2382 (20.5%) were influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and 9253 (79.5%) were influenza A(H3N2). Of the characterized B viruses, 1656 (97.1%) belonged to the B-Yamagata lineage and 49 (2.9%) to the B-Victoria lineage.

Global circulation of influenza viruses
(GISRS-FluNet, snapshot 5 March 2015)

View full size chart
pdf, 359kb
a The time period from 8 to 21 February 2015 corresponds to
  • FluNet / American calendar: weeks 6 and 7
  • International standard ISO 8601: weeks 7 and 8

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