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Seasonal Influenza Activity Increasing Across Europe - H3N2 Dominant Strain
Date:1/19/2009

oss Europe. The first countries to report high intensity of influenza activity were Portugal and Ireland. To date, medium or high intensity activity has been reported in nineteen countries.(1) Of 2488 viruses which have been typed and sub-typed in Europe so far this influenza season, the majority, 2128, were H3N2, with a smaller proportion,141, subtype H1N1 and 219 were type B. The data to date indicate that influenza A (H3N2) and B viruses which Tamiflu is active against make up over 90 percent of the viruses circulating in Europe based on the latest information.(1)

US surveillance data

While influenza A(H1N1) has been the most common strain circulating in the US so far this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted that it is early in the flu season and it is difficult to predict this season's dominant strain. Last season in the US, the dominant influenza strain changed from H1N1 to H3N2 in late January.

In December 2008, the CDC issued interim guidance for the 2008-2009 influenza season which recommends treatment with either zanamavir or Tamiflu in combination with rimantadine when influenza A(H1N1) virus infection or exposure is suspected.(2) The CDC has reminded clinicians to remain alert for additional changes in recommendations as the influenza season progresses.

At the same time ECDC noted that the epidemiological situation was different in Europe and that therefore the same considerations might not apply in Europe. Infections with influenza A(H3N2), the predominant strain in Europe this season, or B viruses can be treated with either Tamiflu or zanamavir.

In addition to monitoring by government agencies, WHO collaborating laboratories and other public health institutions, Roche recently initiated the global Influenza Resistance Information Study (IRIS), which will include 1,200 patients per influenza season from 2008-2011. Roche also cont
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SOURCE Roche
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