2020-2021 season overview
- For the Region as a whole, influenza activity has been at baseline level since the start of the season.
- The influenza epidemic in the European Region did not increase above baseline, despite widespread and regular testing for influenza viruses, reported influenza activity has remained at a very low level throughout the season, likely due to the impact of the various public health and social measures implemented to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
The COVID-19 pandemic had affected healthcare seeking behaviours, healthcare provision, and testing practices and capacities in countries and areas of the European Region, which negatively impacted on the collection of influenza epidemiologic and virologic data from March 2020. However, surveillance improved over the course of the 2020-2021 season and although there was a small decrease in the number of samples tested as compared with previous seasons, there was a remarkable decrease (>99%) in the number of influenza infections detected, with numbers detected on a weekly basis being similar to those reported during interseasonal periods.
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
For the European Region, influenza virus positivity in sentinel specimens remained below the epidemic threshold, which is set at 10%.
Please refer to the EuroMOMO project for additional information