SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

World Health Organization releases influenza update

The World Health Organization released an update on influenza on March 24 that revealed influenza activity around the world continues to decline, except for influenza B, which increased in some areas.

FluNet reporting was completed between Feb. 23 and March 8. The data was collected from National Influenza Centres and other influenza laboratories in 96 countries, areas and territories. WHO GISRS laboratories tested more than 74,758 samples, with 13,548 testing positive for influenza viruses.

WHO reported influenza activity in North America is decreasing, although Canada has increased influenza B activity.

Respiratory syncytial virus activity stayed high in Canada and the United States.

Influenza activity was variable across Europe. In general, activity increased in eastern regions and decreased in southwestern and northern regions. The predominant strains included influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and A(H3N2).

Influenza activity declined in eastern Asia, accompanied by a slight increase of influenza B. In China specifically, activity remained stable following an increase in February. Activity in Mongolia remained high.

Thailand experienced a sustained level of elevated influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, and increased influenza B was reported.

In Northern Africa and Western Asia, WHO reported an overall decrease in activity. In recent months, however, influenza B activity has increased.