Week 2/2019 (7–13 January 2019)

  • Influenza activity continued to increase in the European Region. Samples collected from individuals presenting with ILI or ARI to sentinel primary health care sites yielded an influenza-positivity rate of 42.2%.
  • Influenza type A virus detections dominated with A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses being slightly more prevalent than A(H3N2). Very few influenza B viruses were detected.
  • Data from the 23 Member States and areas reporting to the EuroMOMO project indicated that all-cause mortality was at expected levels for this time of year, but with a few countries starting to observe some excess mortality in elderly populations.

2018/19 season overview 

  • Influenza activity in Europe is increasing, with both subtypes of influenza A viruses circulating widely. Countries should continue to encourage vaccination. In addition, countries are encouraged to use antivirals in accordance with national guidelines.

  • The influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses that have been characterized are antigenically similar to the 2018–2019 northern hemisphere influenza vaccine virus. Fewer influenza A(H3N2) viruses have been antigenically characterized. The effectiveness of vaccines in the population will be evaluated by vaccine effectiveness studies when data becomes available later in the season.

Influenza intensity, spread and dominant virus type/subtype