– This issue is based on data reported in week 16/2011 [18-24 Apr 2011] by 45 [of the 53] Member States in the WHO European Region.

– Consultation rates for influenza-like illness (ILI) and acute respiratory infection (ARI) activity are below baseline thresholds or at pre-season levels in most countries.

– Hospitalizations for severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) continue to decline in most countries with sentinel hospital-based surveillance for SARI.

– 5 percent of sentinel specimens from patients with ILI or ARI, and 3 percent of specimens from sentinel SARI patients, tested positive for influenza.

Current situation — week 16/2011 [18-24 Apr 2011]
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During week 16/2011 [18-24 Apr 2011], 35 countries reported low intensity of respiratory-disease activity and 2 (Armenia and the Russian Federation), medium intensity. ILI or ARI consultation rates have returned to pre-season levels or are below the national baseline thresholds in all but one (Azerbaijan) of the 36 countries reporting epidemiological data this week. Among the 37 countries reporting on the geographical spread of influenza, 35 reported no or sporadic activity. Armenia reported local spread, and Georgia, regional spread. The impact of influenza on health care systems was low in all but one (Armenia) of the 20 countries reporting on this indicator.

Data on sentinel hospital-based surveillance for SARI were reported in 10 countries: Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malta, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, and Ukraine. SARI hospitalizations are declining overall and are back to pre-season levels in Kazakhstan, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine. In Georgia, SARI hospitalizations have increased over the last 3 weeks; this is driven by increases in hospitalizations in the group aged 0 to 4, however, and no sentinel SARI specimens tested positive for influenza in the country during week 16. Further information on the sentinel SARI surveillance systems represented in the EuroFlu bulletin can be found in the “Overview of sentinel SARI systems in EuroFlu”.

Virological situation — week 16/2011 [18-24 Apr 2011]
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Influenza B virus was dominant in 3 countries, and co-dominant with pandemic influenza A(H1N1) 2009 in 2 others. Ukraine reported pandemic influenza A(H1N1) 2009 virus to be dominant.

Sentinel physicians collected 162 respiratory specimens, of which 8 (5 percent) were positive for influenza virus: 3 (38 percent) were influenza A and 5 (62 percent) were influenza B. 2 of the 3 influenza A viruses were subtyped: both were pandemic A(H1). In the 2 countries testing 20 or more sentinel specimens, influenza positivity ranged from 3 percent to 5 percent. In addition, 140 non-sentinel specimens were reported positive for influenza: 63 (45 percent) influenza A and 77 (55 percent) influenza B. Of the influenza A viruses, 54 were subtyped: 51 (94 percent) as pandemic A(H1) and 3 (6 percent) as A(H3).

Sentinel hospitals participating in SARI surveillance in 10 countries collected 64 specimens from SARI patients of which 2 (3 percent) were positive for influenza.

Cumulative virological update — weeks 40/2010-16/2011 [4 Oct 2010-24 Apr 2011]
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A total of 77 462 influenza virus detections was reported during this period, of which 54 949 (71 percent) were influenza A and 22 513 (29 percent) were influenza B. Of the influenza A viruses, 46 281 were subtyped: 44 542 (96 percent) as pandemic A(H1) and 1739 (4 percent) as A(H3).

>From week 40/2010 through week 16/2011 [18-24 Apr 2011], 1533 out of 5525 sentinel SARI specimens (28 percent) tested positive for influenza: 872 (57 percent) were influenza A and 661 (43 percent) influenza B. Of the influenza A viruses, 691 were subtyped: 638 (92 percent) as pandemic A(H1) and 53 (8 percent) as influenza A(H3).

Much more here:

http://beta.promedmail.org/direct.php?id=20110430.1336

Brazil
•  Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff in hospital with pneumonia (Link)

Fiji
•  Brace for H1N1 (Link)

Mexico
•  Chihuahua: The figure is stable in the spread of H1N1 virus (translated) (Link)
•  San Luis Potosí: Today students return to school 62.070 in Soledad (translated) (Link)

•  Juarez: Outstanding problems with urination, stomach and respiratory hospital visits (translated) (Link)

New Zealand
•  Employers Urged To Get Flu Vaccinations For Employees (Link)

Paraguay
•  More victims of flu! (translated) (Link)

Peru
•  Pneumonia killed about 11 children in Puno (translated) (Link)

Turkey
•  More than 250 Syrians flee to Turkey – some diagnosed with flu (Link)

Uganda
•  Traders warned on avain flu (Link)

Venezuela
•  Only 21% of group risk has been immunized against H1N1 Carabobo (Link)

Research
•  New Zealand: Flu study kicks off clinical trials unit (Link)

General

•  MedImmune to Present Eleven Abstracts on Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus at the Annual Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting (Link)

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