Summary of the influenza 2013–2014 season in Europe
Active circulation of influenza has started late in Europe in the 2013-2014 season, with a different timing across EU/EEA countries, states the annual ECDC risk assessment on seasonal influenza. The first countries affected have been Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal and Spain, where the A(H1)pdm09 influenza virus has dominated. Without any specific geographic pattern, influenza activity has since spread rapidly across Europe. In Bulgaria, Portugal and Spain, the season peaked in weeks 4 and 5/2014, while influenza activity still continues to increase in Greece.
Seasonal influenza vaccination strategies
The immunity that is elicited by influenza vaccines is not as long lived as the immunity following natural influenza infection. This is especially so for individuals in the so-called risk groups, hence people have to be vaccinated annually. There are three influenza immunisation strategies used in Europe: to protect the vulnerable, to protect healthy children, adolescents and adults and to reduce overall influenza transmission.
Flu transmits easily from person to person. It does this through the air or from contaminated hands or surfaces. The risk of getting or causing infection is easily reduced by taking some simple preventive steps. Immunisation in particular decreases the risk of a person being infected. Proper use of flu vaccines is the most effective form of protection.
Disease facts about seasonal influenza
Seasonal influenza is a vaccine-preventable disease that each year infects approximately ten to thirty per cent of Europe's population, and causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalisations across Europe.
Factsheet about seasonal influenza
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
Questions and answers on seasonal influenza
What is influenza? What are the symptoms of influenza? What are the symptoms of the common cold and how do they differ from simple (uncomplicated) Influenza?
Summary of the influenza 2015–2016 season in Europe
The 2015-2016 influenza season has come to an end in Europe, with almost all countries now reporting low influenza activity for a number of weeks. The season started in EU/EEA countries in week 52/2015, with the Netherlands reporting regional spread, while Sweden reported widespread activity. The season lasted for 22 weeks until week 20/2016, when the positivity rate dropped to 11%. The peak of the season - with the highest proportion of specimens tested positive (53%) - occurred in week 11/2016.