Week 15/2019 (8–14 April 2019)
- Of 41 countries reporting on geographic spread, 5 reported widespread activity. Specimens collected from individuals presenting with ILI or ARI to sentinel primary health care sites yielded an influenza virus positivity rate of 20%, a further decrease for the fifth week in a row.
- Of 41 countries reporting on influenza activity, 40 reported baseline or low intensity levels and 1 reported medium intensity.
- Influenza type A viruses dominated with more A(H3N2) than A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses being detected among sentinel and non-sentinel source specimens. Very few influenza B viruses were detected.
- Of the subset of specimens from patients with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) collected in week 15/2019 that were tested for influenza viruses, 16% were positive and all viruses were type A.
- Pooled data from 23 Member States and areas reporting to the EuroMOMO project indicated that the all-cause excess mortality observed in previous weeks has returned to normal levels.
2018/19 season overview
Influenza activity in the European Region, based on sentinel sampling, exceeded a positivity rate of 10% in week 49/2018, exceeded 50% between weeks 3/2019 and 7/2019, and peaked in week 5/2019.
Both influenza A virus subtypes have circulated, with co-circulation in some countries while others reported dominance of either A(H1N1)pdm09 or A(H3N2) viruses.
Among hospitalized influenza virus-infected patients admitted to ICU wards, 99% were infected with type A viruses, and of those subtyped, 67% were A(H1N1)pdm09. Among influenza virus-infected patients admitted to other wards, 99% were infected with type A viruses, with 56% of those subtyped being A(H1N1)pdm09.
Of the patient specimens from SARI surveillance that tested positive for influenza, 99% were infected with influenza type A viruses, with 79% of those subtyped being A(H1N1)pdm09.
- A recent summary of regional activity from October 2018 to February 2019 was published in Eurosurveillance and can be found here.
Current influenza vaccines tend to work better against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and influenza B viruses than against influenza A(H3N2) viruses. For more detail, see the Vaccine effectiveness section.
WHO has published recommendations for the composition of influenza vaccines to be used in the 2019–2020 northern hemisphere season. The recommendation was that type B lineage viruses remain unchanged, while the A(H1N1)pdm09 and A(H3N2) viruses were updated.
- Circulating viruses in the European Region remained susceptible to neuraminidase inhibitors supporting use of antiviral treatment according to national guidelines.