Weeks 40/2018 (1-7 October 2018)

  • This is the first weekly report for the 2018-2019 influenza season.
  • Influenza activity was low throughout the European Region.
  • Influenza viruses were detected sporadically in specimens from persons with respiratory illness presenting to medical care.
  • Both influenza A and B type viruses were detected.
  • For week 40/2018, data from the 19 countries or regions reporting to the EuroMOMO project indicated all-cause mortality to be at expected levels for this time of the year.

2018/19 season overview 

  • As is usual for this time of year, influenza activity is low in the European Region.
  • Due to the diversity of A(H3N2) influenza viruses that circulated during the 2018 southern hemisphere season, WHO recently recommended a change of the A(H3N2) component for inclusion in egg-based seasonal influenza vaccines for use in the 2019 Southern Hemisphere influenza season, to provide better protection against recently circulating influenza A(H3N2) viruses. In addition, the influenza B component in trivalent vaccines was changed to a B/Victoria-lineage virus, representing the emergent clade with the amino acid deletions Δ162-163 in haemagglutinin (HA), similar to the 2018–2019 vaccine for the northern hemisphere influenza season. See the full southern hemisphere VCM report here.

Influenza intensity, spread and dominant virus type/subtype