Global flu levels remain low, with activity leveling off in many Southern Hemisphere countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said this week in its latest update, which covers roughly the last week of July and the first week of August.
Southeast Asia's flu levels remained elevated, including in Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines, mainly due to a mix of influenza A strains. In South Asia, flu activity remained low in most of the region, except for Bangladesh and Bhutan. In East Asia, Hong Kong's activity remained near the epidemic threshold. However, today Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection said local activity has increased over the past week, putting levels above the seasonal threshold and marking the start of its summer flu season.
In tropical Africa, flu activity increased in Ethiopia and Madagascar, but declined in other countries. Elsewhere, influenza B detections increased in Cuba.
Of respiratory samples that tested positive for flu at national flu labs during the surveillance period, 72.7% were influenza A, and of subtyped influenza A samples, 62.4% were the H3N2 strain and 37.6% were 2009 H1N1. Of characterized influenza B samples, all belonged to the Victoria lineage.