Title: #Risk #assessment of seasonal #influenza, #EU/EEA, 2016/2017, 24 December 2016.
Subject: Seasonal Influenza, risk assessment.
Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), full PDF file (LINK). Summary.
Code: [ ]
RAPID RISK ASSESSMENT
Risk assessment of seasonal influenza, EU/EEA, 2016/2017, 24 December 2016
Suggested citation: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Risk assessment of seasonal influenza, EU/EEA, 2016/2017 –24 December 2016. Stockholm: ECDC; 2016.
© European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, 2016
Main conclusions and options for response
- This season, influenza viruses, mainly A(H3N2), began circulating early in the EU/EEA.
- It is too early to anticipate the intensity in primary care and severity in secondary care, but if A(H3N2) continues to predominate, there is a risk that people over 65 years of age will be the most severely affected, possibly putting some healthcare systems under pressure.
- Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 may dominate in a few countries where A(H3N2) was dominant last season (Slovenia and Italy).
- Although just over half of the A(H3N2) viruses characterised at this early stage of the season belong to a new genetic clade, they all are antigenically less than four-fold different from the vaccine strain in the haemagglutination inhibition test.
- Preliminary vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates from Scandinavia suggest levels of effectiveness towards the upper range of those seen during the period 2011—2015.
- Given the early epidemiological and VE data, vaccination of the elderly and other high-risk individuals remains a priority, in line with the national recommendations of the EU/EEA Member States, to prevent more severe cases.
- Given the partial effectiveness of influenza vaccines, rapid use of neuraminidase inhibitors for laboratory-confirmed or probable cases of influenza should be considered for vaccinated and non-vaccinated at-risk patients.
Keywords: ECDC; Updates; EU; European Region; Seasonal Influenza.