Weekly Influenza Surveillance Overview (WISO) and new study presenting global estimates of the burden seasonal influenza in children publishedArchived

News

While Europe is experiencing low influenza activity a new study presenting global estimates of the burden of respiratory infections due to seasonal influenza in young children has been published online by the Lancet on the 11 November 2011.

Five weeks after the beginning of the surveillance season for influenza in the Northern Hemisphere, there has been no evidence of sustained transmission in EU/EAA countries. The winter influenza epidemics have not yet started in Europe. This is reported in the latest edition of the Weekly influenza surveillance overview (WISO).

While Europe is experiencing low influenza activity a new study presenting global estimates of the burden of respiratory infections due to seasonal influenza in young children has been published online by the Lancet on the 11 November 2011.

The study estimates that around 90 million children under five years catch seasonal influenza each year in the world. Additionally the study calculates that about 20 million cases of influenza associated pneumonia - and around 1 million cases of influenza associated severe pneumonia - are reported globally among young children each year.

The authors estimates that this is causing around 1 million hospital visits and approximately 28 000 to 111 500 premature deaths in children younger than 5 years attributable to influenza-associated pneumonia during 2008. Even though the large majority of these severe case are in resource-poor (developing) countries the authors estimate that in the WHO European Region there are on average around 52 000 severe cases of respiratory infection due to flu in the under fives each year.