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Influenza monthly update, October 2017

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In the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, influenza activity started to increase in the month of October in countries reporting data to FluNet and EMFLU namely, Afghanistan, Egypt, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia (Fig. 1). All seasonal influenza subtypes were detected in the Region.


Disclaimer: The presentation of material on the maps contained herein does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the World Health Organization concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or areas or its authorities of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted lines on maps represent approximate border areas for which there may not yet be full agreement.

Fig. 1. Influenza activity in Eastern Mediterranean Region, October 2017

Influenza activity by subtype

  • In October 2017, no new cases of influenza A(H5N1) were reported in Egypt.
  • In the northern Africa influenza transmission zone, Egypt reported circulation of sporadic cases of influenza A; while Morocco and Tunisia did not detect any influenza viruses.
  • In the western Asia influenza transmission zone, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia reported increased circulation of influenza A and B.
  • In the southern Asia transmission zone, Islamic Republic of Iran reported circulation of sporadic cases of influenza A and B.

Source of transmission zones

  • Fig. 2 shows the weekly distribution of influenza subtypes.


Fig. 2. Weekly positive cases of influenza by subtype, Epi week 43. 2016-2017

Source: Flunet and EMFLU

Circulating influenza viruses by subtype

  • During October 2017, regional national influenza centres and influenza laboratories tested a total of 3404 specimens for influenza viruses of which 717 tested positive (21%). The average percentage of positivity rates is 12%.
  • Of the viruses tested, 612 (85%) were influenza A viruses, including 327 (46%) influenza A/H1N1pdm09 viruses, and 274 (38%) were influenza A/H3 viruses; 105 (15%) were influenza B viruses (Fig. 3).


Fig. 3. Circulating influenza viruses in the Region by subtype, Epi week 40-43, 2017

Source: Flunet and EMFLU

Related link

Influenza monthly update, October 2017