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Influenza update – February 2017

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7 March 2017 - In the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, influenza activity remained low in February, based on data received. All seasonal influenza sub-types were detected in the Region. In Qatar, moderate activity was reported for the predominant sub-type influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 (Fig. 1).

Map of influenza activity in WHO Eastern Mediterranean region in February 2017

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. Situation of influenza circulation in Eastern Mediterranean Region, February 2017

Influenza activity by sub-type

• Egypt reported 2 human cases caused by avian influenza A(H5N1) –a 45-year-old man (dead) and a 4-year-old child from 2 governorates.

• In northern Africa, influenza B and Influenza A(H3) were detected in Morocco and Tunisia and A(H3) was reported in Egypt. In western Asia, all seasonal influenza subtypes were detected in Bahrain, Iraq and Qatar. In southern Asia, Influenza B is the predominant circulating virus in Islamic Republic of Iran with co-circulation of A(H3) (Fig. 2).

Weekly positive cases of influenza by sub-type, February 2016 to February 2017

Source: Flunet and EMFLU

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

Circulating influenza viruses by sub-type

• During February, national influenza centres and influenza laboratories in the Region tested a total of 2524 specimens for influenza viruses, of which 223 (13%) were positive.

• Influenza A viruses accounted for 66% (147) of tested samples and 34% (76) were for influenza B virus samples (Fig. 3).

Circulating influenza viruses in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region by type for EPI weeks 5 to 8

Source: Flunet and EMFLU

Fig. 3. Circulating influenza viruses in the EMR by type, EPI weeks 5-8

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