Flu levels rising in Canada and Europe

Dec. 31, 2012 at 8:17 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Canada is reporting increasing influenza in four regions of Ontario, and in Europe there were clear indications of rising flu activity, health officials say.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said the predominant strain of influenza affecting Ontario was H3N2 with few 2009 H1N1 detections -- similar to the United States, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy reported.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said that even though surveillance activities were limited during the holiday period, there were clear indications of rising flu activity, with the disease affecting more countries last week compared with the previous week.

Of 17 European countries that reported clinical data, France and Luxembourg reported medium-intensity flu activity, with the rest reporting low intensity. Three countries reported wide geographic spread: Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The proportion of samples testing positive for influenza spiked to 27.3 percent, compared with 17.3 percent the week before. Only a small percentage of people with influenza get treated by a doctor and only some of those samples are tested for influenza.

Overall, 70 percent of the samples in Europe were influenza A, of which nearly 69 percent were H3N2, and influenza B made up 28 percent of the sub-typed viruses.

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