Europe’s flu season ends

Gary Finnegan

Gary Finnegan

May 20th, 2011

Gary Finnegan

‘Health authorities say the 2010/2011 flu season is now drawing to a close in Europe as the number of new cases tapers off across the continent. ’

Flu-seasonThe European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recorded just three confirmed cases of influenza virus in ‘sentinel’ health centres – a sample of GP practices used for public health surveillance.

The ECDC’s weekly flu surveillance report of the 8th of May says all 26 countries which feed into its monitoring system saw low influenza activity. Two countries reported a total of 11 hospitalised cases with a severe acute respiratory infection, four of which tested positive for influenza virus infection.

Two countries recorded a total of 11 hospitalised cases as part of the hospital surveillance of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI), four of which tested positive for flu infection. Nonetheless, the trend is decreasing or stable across the board.

This year’s northern hemisphere was the first to include the H1N1 influenza strain which caused the 2009 flu pandemic.

The composition of the annual vaccine is decided by a network of experts at the World Health Organisation (WHO) and protects against the three most common strains of influenza circulating in the community.

This vaccine’s composition is updated twice per year to reflect the flu seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres.

[Learn more about how the is decided]

[Read our post about major disparities in in Europe]