The national seasonal influenza trends are continuing to increase in a number of countries, although three countries are also reporting they have seen a peak in their epidemics. The season is still dominated by A(H3) viruses, but B viruses seem to be on the increase recently as reported in the latest edition of the Weekly Influenza Surveillance Overview (week 9/2012).
Medium or higher intensity has been reported by 18 countries and increasing trends by 11 countries. Bulgaria, Italy and Spain have reported decreasing trends for at least two weeks in a row and are therefore the first three European countries past their epidemic peak this season.
Virological surveillance for the period shows that out of 1 606 sentinel specimens tested, 48.0% were positive for influenza virus, the first proper decline this year. Of these sentinel viruses, 91.4% were type A and 8.6% were type B. Only six were A(H1)pdm09 (<1%). More details on the antigenic and genetic characteristics of circulating viruses in Europe can be found in the latest Influenza virus characterisation report, published in February 2012.
Since week 40/2011, 1 024 SARI cases, including 40 fatalities, have been reported by seven countries. Of these cases, 690 were related to influenza infection – 90% with A(H3), 5% with A(H1)pdm09 and 5% with B viruses.
No resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir and zanamivir) has been reported so far this season.
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