Flu increasing in European region as countries encouraged to continue vaccination efforts

  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
  • 25 Jan 2019

  • curated by Priscilla Lynch
  • Univadis
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Patients should continue to be encouraged to get vaccinated against the flu this season, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has stated.

Influenza activity is continuing to increase and spread in the European region in line with annual trends, the latest ECDC data shows.

Influenza type A virus detections are dominating with A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses being more prevalent than A(H3N2). Very few influenza B viruses have been detected.

The majority of A(H1N1)pdm09 and A(H3N2) viruses characterised thus far have been antigenically similar to vaccine viruses, said the ECDC.

Data indicates that while all-cause mortality is generally at expected levels for this time of year, several countries continue to observe some excess mortality in elderly populations. 

Meanwhile, a separate ECDC report, which examined influenza vaccination coverage rates for the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons (where available) has found none of the surveyed Member States could demonstrate they reached the EU target of 75 per cent influenza vaccination coverage for vulnerable groups. 

For the 2016-17 season, the coverage among healthcare workers was known in 12 Member States and ranged from 15.6-to-63.2 per cent (median 30.2%), while the coverage for pregnant women was known in nine Member States and ranged from 0.5-to-58.6 per cent (median 25.0%).

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