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High intensity flu in 18 European nations

March 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM   |   Comments

SOLNA, Sweden, March 10 (UPI) -- Influenza is increasing in 11 European countries, is reported at higher intensity in 18 nations and has peaked in three countries, health officials said.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said for the week ending March 4, Bulgaria, Italy and Spain reported decreasing influenza trends for at least two weeks in a row and as a result are the first three European countries past their epidemic peak this season.

Low intensity flu-like illness was reported by nine countries; medium intensity by 15 countries -- Portugal and Sweden reported high intensity and Greece reported very high intensity, the ECDC said

Widespread flu was reported by Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Regional influenza spread was reported by

seven countries, local flu spread was reported by by one country and sporadic by four. Cyprus and Poland reported no influenza activity.

Of 1,606 sentinel specimens tested, 48 percent were positive for influenza virus, the first decline this

year. Of these sentinel viruses, 91.4 percent were type A and 8.6 percent were type B and only six were 2009 H1N1.

Although three European countries peaked in their national influenza season epidemics the trend is

still upward in a number of others.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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