Influenza in Ireland weeks 37 and 38

September 30, 2011

By Dr. John Gallagher, Employment Health Advisors (EHA):
All indicators of influenza activity in Ireland have continued to remain at low levels. The sentinel GP influenza-like illness (ILI) consultation rates remained low and below baseline levels during weeks 37 and 38 2011. No positive influenza specimens were detected by the National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL) from sentinel or non-sentinel sources during weeks 37 and 38 2011. There have been no reports of confirmed influenza cases admitted to hospital or of any influenza-associated deaths occurring during the summer period. No new general outbreaks of influenza/ILI have been reported since week 5 2011.
As of 23rd September 2011, influenza activity in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere remained low or undetectable. Countries in the tropical zone mostly reported low influenza activity but with some transmission reported in countries of the Americas (Cuba, Honduras and Bolivia), western Africa (Cameroon) and southern Asia (India, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore). Transmission in South Africa has declined to low levels. In Australia, the number of laboratory confirmed influenza notifications reported is declining in Queensland, New South Wales (NSW) and other states with the exception of the Northern Territory. The number of oseltamivir-resistant influenza A (H1N1) 2009 viruses detected in the recently reported cluster in New South Wales, Australia, appears to be declining as the season in Australia wanes. The geographic area of spread of this cluster is wider than originally reported. All of the viruses from the cluster were sensitive to zanamivir, and none have died. Investigations into this cluster are ongoing. ILI activity in New Zealand continues around national baseline levels and the majority of viruses detected have been influenza B.

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