SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Spread of flu on the rise in southern hemisphere

While the spread of the flu has been limited in most parts of the world, flu activity in the southern hemisphere has continued to rise in most countries, according to recent data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The data showed that as of Aug. 9, countries in more temperate regions of South America continued to report flu activity, with influenza A (H3N2) being the most common strain of the flu.

In Chile, the number of flu cases and influenza-like illness (ILI) increased slightly over the previous week. Eighty-one percent of viruses detected were influenza A and 21 percent were influenza B.

Meanwhile, in Paraguay, ILI remained similar over the previous week, with an increase in the number of positively identified flu specimens. Approximately 94 percent of influenza viruses were type A and six percent were influenza B.

Both Australia and New Zealand reported increased flu and ILI activity, though activity in Australia was lower compared to last year and consistent with the seasonal trend, according to WHO.

In South Africa, influenza detection rose compared to the previous week, with type A as the most common strain.