Weekly influenza overview

Week 42/2020 (12 October–18 October 2020) 


  • Influenza activity remained at interseasonal levels. 


  • None of 151 sentinel specimens tested for influenza viruses in week 42 were positive.


  • Of 7 262 non-sentinel specimens tested, 7 were positive (1 A unsubtyped and 6 type B viruses were not ascribed to a lineage).


  • There were no hospitalized laboratory-confirmed influenza cases for week 42/2020.  


  • The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected healthcare presentations and testing capacities of countries and areas in the Region, which negatively impacted reporting of influenza epidemiologic and virologic data during the 2019-2020 season. It is not unusual for influenza activity to be low at this time of year but, if the COVID-19 pandemic continues influenza data we present will need to be interpreted with caution.  


Other news


The World Health Organization categorized COVID-19 as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. For more information about the situation in the WHO European Region visit:  


Qualitative indicators


  • Of 29 countries and areas that reported on the intensity indicator, 24 reported activity at baseline levels, and 5 reported low intensity (Azerbaijan, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia and Slovakia) for week 42/2020. 


  • Of 30 countries and areas that reported on geographic spread, 24 reported no activity and 5 reported sporadic spread (Azerbaijan, Denmark, Portugal, United Kingdom (Scotland) and Slovakia) for week 42/2020. 



Please note: as all sentinel specimens tested for influenza viruses in this period were negative, the qualitative indicators based on intensity and geographic spread should be interpreted that increased intensity and spread are not caused by influenza infections.