WHO Says No Flu in 2022
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued Influenza Update N° 410 on January 10, 2022, which says 'influenza activity remains low but continued to increase in the temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere, such as the U.S.'
In the temperate zones of the Southern Hemisphere, influenza activity remained low overall, although increased detections of influenza A(H3N2) were reported in temperate South America.
The WHO National Influenza Centres and other laboratories from 110 countries, areas, or territories reported data to FluNet as of 2022-01-07 11:00:29 UTC.
These laboratories tested more than 522,595 specimens during the last period.
A total of 27,153 were positive for influenza viruses, reflecting a 0.05% positivity rate.
Of the confirmed specimens, about 73% were typed as influenza A. And of the sub-typed influenza A viruses, 95.6% were influenza A(H3N2).
The WHO advised 'Clinicians to consider influenza in differential diagnosis especially for high-risk groups for influenza, and test and treat according to national guidance.'
From a regional perspective, the WHO disclosed:
- In North America, influenza virus detections of predominately A(H3N2) among the subtyped increased, and hospitalizations are increasing but remain low overall.
- RSV activity decreased in the USA and Canada.
- In Europe, Influenza A(H3N2) was predominated.
- In East Asia, influenza activity continued increasing in China, while influenza illness indicators and activity remained low in the rest of the subregion.
- In the Caribbean and Central American countries, some countries increased influenza A(H3N2) and B virus detections.
- In tropical South America, influenza A(H3N2) detections increased overall, with severe acute respiratory infection levels were reported at extraordinary levels in Bolivia (Plurinational State).
- In tropical Africa, overall influenza activity continued on a decreasing trend.
- In Southern Asia, influenza virus detections of predominately influenza A(H3N2) increased overall, although decreasing in a few countries.
- In South-East Asia, sporadic influenza detections were reported in the Philippines.
Within the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its weekly update on January 7, 2022, saying 'influenza activity is increasing, with the eastern and central parts of the country seeing the majority of viruses reported.'
The majority of influenza viruses detected are A(H3N2).
So far, most of the H3N2 viruses are genetically closely related to the flu vaccine virus, but some antigenic differences have developed as H3N2 viruses have continued to evolve.
Separately on January 12, 2022, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reviewed updated presentations, such as 'Influenza Vaccines for Older Adults,' presented by Lisa Grohskopf, CDC Vaccine Policy Unit.
Additional flu vaccine news is published on this Precision Vaccinations webpage.