Article by
Dani Reiter

Southern Hemisphere Flu News - August 21, 2019

Influenza cases have peaked for the 2019 southern hemisphere season

sun setting in the southern hemisphere, man celebrating on a rock

In the temperate zones of the Southern Hemisphere, the seasonal influenza activity appears to have peaked in most countries, reported the World Health Organization (WHO).

The weekly WHO report published on August 20, 2019, offered the following highlights:

  • In the Caribbean, Central American, and tropical South American countries, influenza activity was low overall
  • In tropical Africa, influenza activity was low across reporting countries, with the exception of a few countries in Eastern Africa
  • In Southern Asia, influenza activity was low across reporting countries
  • In Southeast Asia, influenza activity was decreasing or low across reporting countries except in Myanmar

Worldwide, seasonal influenza A viruses have accounted for the majority of detections during 2019. The WHO laboratories have tested more than 42,723 specimens, and reported:

  • 63.9% were typed as influenza A
  • Of the sub-typed influenza A viruses, 38.9% were influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and 61.1% were influenza A(H3N2)
  • Of the characterized B viruses, 7.9% belonged to the B-Yamagata lineage and 92.1% to the B-Victoria lineage

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends prompt treatment for people who have influenza infection or suspected influenza infection and who are at high risk of serious flu complications, such as young children.

For adults at high risk of serious flu complications, treatment with antiviral drugs can mean the difference between milder or more serious illness possibly resulting in a hospital stay.

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In the USA, most pharmacies offer antiviral flu medicines and various influenza vaccines.  

To help those without access to insurance programs, financial assistance programs can be found at Vaccine Discounts.

For more detailed information, see the influenza reports from the WHO.