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Influenza monthly update, May 2017

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In the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, influenza activity remained low in May in countries reporting data to FluNet and EMFLU namely, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia (Fig. 1). All seasonal influenza subtypes were detected in the Region.


Fig. 1. Influenza activity in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, May 2017

Influenza activity by sub-type

  • In May 2017, no new cases of influenza A(H5N1) were reported in Egypt.
  • In the northern Africa influenza transmission zone, Tunisia reported sporadic cases of influenza A (H1N1)pdm09.
  • In the western Asia influenza transmission zone, Oman reported circulation of all seasonal influenza subtypes with predominance of A (H1N1)pdm09 and Influenza B. Qatar and Saudi Arabia reported equivalent circulation of all seasonal influenza subtypes.
  • In the southern Asia transmission zone, Iran reported circulation of influenza B. (Fig. 2)

Source of transmission zones


                                  Source: Flunet and EMFLU

Fig. 2. Weekly positive cases of influenza by sub-type, May 2016-May 2017

Circulating influenza viruses by subtype 

  • During May 2017, regional national influenza centres and influenza laboratories tested a total of 2530 specimens for influenza viruses, of which 526 (21%) tested positive. The positivity rate ranged from as low as 2% for some countries to as high as 34 % in some countries. The reasons for such high positivity rate observed in some countries (Oman and Qatar) are currently being investigated.
  • Of the viruses tested, 362 (69%) were influenza A viruses and 164 (31%) were influenza B viruses (Fig. 3). Of the sub-typed influenza A viruses, 215 (41%) were influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses and 14 (3%) were influenza A(H3) viruses.


                              Source: Flunet and EMFLU

Fig. 3. Circulating influenza viruses in the Region by type, Epi week 18–21, 2017

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Influenza monthly update, May 2017