MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2018

ECDC releases updated influenza virus characterization report

The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention released its most recent "Influenza virus characterisation" report on Friday, which covered the time period since Sept. 1, 2013.

The flu season had a late start, according to the report. In collaboration with the World Health Organization Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in London, 46 influenza-positive samples have been collected from six European Union countries.

According to the samples, influenza type A is more abundant than type B with 91 percent over 9 percent. The ECDC said this is typical of the Northern Hemisphere. The center also reported more cases of H3N2 than H1N1pdm9, within type A cases.

The report also said that in comparison to the previous flu season, subgroup 6B viruses have been detected more frequently. Subgroup 6B has been antigenically similar to the virus used for the flu vaccine.

Samples showed type A viruses that have circulated are within the subgroup 3C, which is included in the 2013-14 flu vaccine. No B/Victoria-lineage viruses have been detected.

The report is based on analysis of influenza-positive samples that are received by the MRC National Institute for Medical Research, in collaboration with WHO, and is prepared under ECDC framework contract.