An estimated 158 people with influenza have died in European hospitals this flu season. 100 of these were recorded in intensive care units which the other 58 were in other hospital wards.
While this year’s flu season appears, so far, to have been milder than last year, the number of cases is increasing in several countries and may not yet have peaked.
The annual flu season started a little later than last year and, based on previous experience, is probably still only half way through.
Who should have the flu vaccine and why?
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has produced an infographic comparing this year’s outbreak with last year. It also shows the intensity of flu activity in each EU country.
The flu viruses circulating in our communities can change from year to year. There are two main influenza viruses in circulation this year:
- 58% of cases are caused by influenza A(H1)pdm09 – the virus that first emerged during the 2009 flu pandemic.
- 40% are caused by influenza A(H3),
- 2% Type B influenza viruses are responsible for just 2% of all confirmed cases.
These are the viruses included in this season’s flu vaccine.
Read: Is flu jab becoming the norm for health staff?
Watch: Why should people have the flu vaccine?