07 January 2013 - Update number 176
•Reporting of influenza activity has been irregular in the past two weeks due to the holiday season in many countries. As a result, overall virus detections reported have dropped off although in most countries in the northern temperate regions, influenza activity appears to have continued rising.
•Many countries of North America, Europe, north Africa, eastern Mediterranean and temperate Asia have reported increasing influenza activity over the past weeks. North China has started its influenza season.
•In tropical Asia, influenza activity was similar to previous weeks, with persistent low-level circulation.
•Influenza activity in sub-Saharan Africa has declined in most countries, with the exception of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana.
•In the Caribbean, central America and tropical south America, influenza activity decreased to low levels, except for Bolivia, where there is increasing circulation of influenza A(H3N2).
•Influenza activity in countries of the southern hemisphere is currently at inter-seasonal levels.
•Several unconfirmed media stories have reported a number of deaths related to infection with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 in different parts of the world. As with other seasonal influenza viruses, it is expected that some deaths would occur with infection, in particular now when influenza season starts in Northern Hemisphere. These reports at times refer to this A(H1N1)pdm09 virus as “swine flu”, causing some confusion with other viruses that recently reported in the United States. A(H1N1)pdm09 virus has been circulating in humans for more than 3 years and now is a seasonal human influenza virus.
Source of data
The Global Influenza Programme monitors influenza activity worldwide and publishes an update every two weeks.
The updates are based on available epidemiological and virological data sources, including FluNet (reported by the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System) and influenza reports from WHO Regional Offices and Member States. Completeness can vary among updates due to availability and quality of data available at the time when the update is developed.