Influenza activity remains low in the Northern Hemisphere

The World Health Organization recently reported that influenza activity has remained low in the Northern Hemisphere, with only a small number of nations, including Costa Rica and Cameroon, reporting increases in the number of cases.

Costa Rica is the only tropical country in the Americas that has seen an increase in influenza cases, predominantly A/H3N2, according to CIDRAP News.

In Cameroon, H3N2 infections appear to have reached a peak. The WHO reported that the rise in H3N2 infections was preceded by an increase in the number of 2009 H1N1 cases, which peaked in early November.

Tropical regions in Asia report localized areas of increased transmission, particularly in India, which is seeing influenza B circulation, and Laos, which is reporting H3N2 infections.

The temperate areas of South America, Australia and New Zealand are seeing flu activity return to inter-seasonal levels. Australian, however, is reporting persistent low-level H3N2 and influenza B transmission, CIDRAP News reports.

Sporadic flu activity is being reported in the temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere, including those in Canada, the United States and Europe.

A recent update from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention said that doctors visits for flu-like illnesses remain below the national baseline. No pediatric deaths from the illness have been reported, and the overall proportion of deaths from pneumonia and influenza dropped slightly.