Influenza in Europe (weekly summary)

Influenza illness continues to increase in most of the European Region countries, with most countries reporting medium intensity levels. Some north western countries (such as Norway, Poland, and the United Kingdom) may have experienced peaks in reported illness activity earlier in the winter season. Only 2 countries (Kazakhstan and Ukraine) have not reported epidemic levels of influenza virus infection. Moderate to high levels of influenza activity have been reported from Spain, France, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Influenza viruses are transmitted from person to person by inhaling small airborne respiratory droplets created when infectious persons cough, sneeze or laugh. These viruses are also spread by hand-to-hand and hand-to-mouth contact. Maintaining a small distance (1 meter) from a person with a respiratory illness and frequent hand washing will help reduce the risk of exposure. This year, the currently available vaccine provides a good degree of protection (up to 65%) against the currently circulating influenza viruses.

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