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Influenza monthly update, October 2018

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In the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, influenza activity is increasing in the month of October in many countries reporting data to FluNet and EMFLU namely, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, occupied Palestinian territory, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.


Fig. 1. Influenza geographic spread in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, October 2018

Influenza activity by subtype

• In October 2018, no new cases of human influenza A(H5N1) were reported in Egypt.

• In the northern Africa influenza transmission zone, A(H3) virus was detected predominantly in Egypt  while Morocco reported no activity.

• In the western Asia influenza transmission zone, Qatar and Saudi Arabia reported co-circulation of all seasonal influenza viruses, while in Oman and Bahrain influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and  A(H3) virus were detected. Lebanon reported circulation of sporadic cases of the influenza A(H3) and Jordan, Iraq and oPt reported no activity. 

• In southern Asia transmission zone, Iran (Islamic Republic of) reported circulation of sporadic influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 cases, while Afghanistan reported no activity. 

Source of transmission zones


Fig. 2. Weekly positive cases of influenza by subtype, Epi week 43/2017-2018

Source: FluNet and EMFLU

Circulating influenza viruses by subtype

• During October 2018, national influenza centres and influenza laboratories in the Region tested a total of 5136 specimens for influenza viruses of which 1229 tested positive (24%).

• The average percentage of positivity rates is 24 %, with highest positivity rate recorded in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

• Of the viruses tested; 1088 (89%) were influenza A viruses, including 673 (55%) influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus and 306 (25%) were influenza A(H3) virus. Influenza B (Lineage Not determined) virus accounted for 141 (11%) (Figure 3).


Fig. 3. Circulating influenza viruses in the Region by subtype, Epi week 40-43, 2018

Related link

Influenza monthly update, October  2018