Week 1/2019 (31 December 2018–6 January 2019)

  • Influenza activity continued to increase in the European Region. Of the individuals sampled after presenting with ILI or ARI to sentinel primary health care sites, 44.6% tested positive for influenza viruses.

  • The majority of influenza virus detections were type A in both inpatients and outpatients.

  • Both influenza A(H3N2) and A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses were detected.

  • Data from the 21 Member States and areas reporting to the EuroMOMO project indicated all-cause mortality was at expected levels for this time of year.

2018/19 season overview 

  • Influenza activity in Europe is increasing, with both subtypes of type A viruses circulating widely. Countries should continue to encourage vaccination.

  • Most of the hospitalized laboratory confirmed influenza infections were associated with A(H1N1)pdm09 virus and were in persons aged 15-64 years.

  • The predominant A(H1N1)pdm09 and A(H3N2) viruses circulating match the vaccine components, although relatively low numbers of influenza A(H3N2) viruses have been characterized and concerns related to egg-adaptation of the virus during production persist, as in previous years.
  • The northern hemisphere Vaccine Composition Meeting for 2019–2020 has been planned for 18–20 February 2019 in Beijing, China. For more information see here.

Influenza intensity, spread and dominant virus type/subtype