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ECDC warns of potentially severe flu season ahead

Updated: Nov 26

MEDICAL NEWS

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is warning of a potentially severe flu season ahead.

The Centre says that, although the overall number of influenza detections in most European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries is still low, indications show that circulation in Croatia is above the seasonal threshold.

The main reported subtype in the EU/EEA during the past month is A(H3N2), which disproportionally affects older people, and is associated with lower vaccine effectiveness. The ECDC says this is a sign that the upcoming season could be severe for elderly people and that influenza patterns may vary between countries in terms of timing.

“The early detections of the A(H3N2) subtype are an indication that the upcoming flu season could be severe, although we cannot know for sure what the upcoming flu season will look like,” said Pasi Penttinen, Head of the ECDC’s influenza programme.

“A steep rise in flu infections during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could have serious consequences for the elderly and those with weak immune systems and could place an additional burden on health systems already strained by COVID-19. It is therefore important that we take the necessary precautions and protect those that are most at risk,” said Mr Penttinen.