Week 47/2020 (16–22 November 2020)
• Influenza activity remained at interseasonal levels.
• No influenza viruses were detected in specimens from persons with respiratory illness presenting to primary medical care sentinel sites.
• Influenza viruses were detected sporadically from non-sentinel sources (such as hospitals, schools, primary care facilities not involved in sentinel surveillance, or nursing homes and other institutions). Both influenza type A and type B viruses were detected.
• There were no hospitalized laboratory-confirmed influenza cases reported for week 47/2020.
• 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. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the influenza data presented for the 2020-2021 season needs to be interpreted with caution, notably in terms of seasonal patterns.
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:
- WHO website: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- ECDC website: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/novel-coronavirus-china
- Of 36 countries and areas that reported on the intensity indicator, 31 reported activity at baseline levels and 5 countries reported low intensity (Azerbaijan, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine and United Kingdom (England)) for week 47/2020
- Of 37 countries and areas that reported on geographic spread, 30 reported no activity and 7 reported sporadic spread (in eastern, northern and western areas) for week 47/2020
Please note: intensity and geographic spread are based on sentinel and non-sentinel data assessment. Non-sentinel influenza virus detections might translate into reporting of elevated geographic even if there are no sentinel detections. Equally, small outbreaks of influenza without increase in ILI incidence might translate into reporting of elevated intensity.