Flu in Europe widespread, increasing

Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:26 PM
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BRUSSELS, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Influenza in Europe: 17 countries reported increasing transmission, while five countries reported decreasing rates, but flu was more widespread, officials say.

For the week of ending Jan. 20, health officials at the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control in Brussels, said Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Britain reported decreasing trends in flu transmission.

Thirteen countries and the Northern Ireland reported medium intensity for influenza-like illness, while Iceland reported high intensity. Seventeen countries reported increasing transmission, compared to 19 countries the previous week. Five countries, mostly in western Europe, reported decreasing trends, compared to only two countries the week before.

Since the beginning of the flu season, 48 percent of influenza-positive sentinel specimens were type A, and 52 percent were type B viruses. Although the H3N2 virus was circulating in Europe, the 2009 H1N1 strain was detected in increasing proportions, while in the United States, the vast majority of the flu detected was H3N2 virus, with very little of the 2009 H1N1 strain reported.

Denmark, Scotland and England reported mortality increased for seniors, health officials said.

Flu was widespread in countries in western Europe, but regional and local in Eastern Europe and Portugal.

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