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Influenza monthly update, February 2020

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In February 2020, many countries reported data to FluNet and EMFLU, namely Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The proportion of tested cases for influenza in the Region was 85% out of 14 274 enrolled cases; 23.9% of cases tested positive, and 76.1% negative.

Influenza activity by sub-type

  • In northern Africa, Influenza activity remained low in Egypt and Morocco with influenza A and B circulating. In Tunisia, the activity was still high with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 most frequently detected.

  • In Western Asia, influenza activity remained elevated in Lebanon, oPt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with influenza A and B viruses co-circulating. In Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Yemen, influenza activity continued to decrease with detections of both influenza A and B viruses.

  • In southern Asia, influenza activity remained elevated in with influenza B most frequently detected in the Islamic Republic of Iran. In Afghanistan influenza activity continued to decrease with influenza A and B viruses co-circulating.

Circulating influenza viruses by sub-type

  • During February 2020, national influenza centres and influenza laboratories in the Region tested a total of 12 143 specimens for influenza viruses, of which 2 896 tested positive (23.9%).

  • The average percentage of positive rates was 23.9%, with the highest positive rates recorded in Lebanon,
    Tunisia and Morocco.

  • Of the viruses tested; 2 029 (70%) were influenza A viruses, including 836 (29%) influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, 229 (8%) were influenza A(H3) virus and 964 (33%) were influenza A(not subtyped) virus. Influenza B (Lineage Not determined) virus accounted for 835 (29%).