Summary of influenza in North America, Europe, Mediteranean area and Asia

In the northern hemisphere, influenza illness has reached epidemic and even emergency levels in the some areas of the USA and Canada.

United States - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention weekly report:

  • Twenty-four states and New York City are now reporting high influenza-like illnesses. States reporting high influenza activity for the week ending January 5, 2013 include Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. Overall, 47 states reported widespread geographic influenza activity for the week between December 30, 2012 and January 5, 2013. In some cities, hospitals are severely stressed to provide care. For example, the city of Boston declared a health emergency to cope with the influx of patients. A map of high activity areas can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/summary.htm.

Canada - Public Health Agency of Canada weekly report:

  • In the first week of 2013, 15 regions in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario Quebec and Newfoundland reported widespread influenza activity. There were 107 new influenza outbreaks reported: 88 in long-term-care facilities, 5 in hospitals, one in a school, and 13 in other facilities or communities. A map of high activity areas can be found at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/fluwatch/12-13/w01_13/pdf/fw2013-01-eng.pdf.

Europe - World Health Organization weekly report:

  • Influenza activity continued to increase across Europe, especially in Denmark and France.

Asia - World Health Organization weekly report:

  • Increased influenza activity has been reported from China and Japan while sporadic activity was reported from other countries in the region.

Eastern Mediterranean - World Health Organization weekly report

  • Increased influenza activity has been reported from the West Bank and Gaza Strip where 9 deaths were recorded, as well as elsewhere in the region.

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 fair degree of protection (up to 65%) against the currently circulating influenza viruses.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Flu.

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