Flu continues rise in Oceana, southern Africa
Flu activity is rising in some of the Southern Hemisphere's temperate countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and southern Africa. At the global level, however, levels are declining following a March peak, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a global flu update that roughly covers the first half of June.
Other areas seeing rises are Chile and southern China, where H3N2 is the dominant strain.
Of the respiratory samples that tested positive for flu at national flu labs in the first part of June, 97.5% were influenza A, and of the subtyped influenza A samples, 97.7% were H3N2.
The WHO has urged countries to monitor flu and COVID-19 cocirculation and to step up flu vaccination, especially to prevent severe disease in high-risk groups. It also urged clinicians to consider flu in the differential diagnosis for groups at high risk for flu complications.
Jun 27 WHO global flu update
In other flu developments, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, yesterday accepted the recommendation of its vaccine advisory group for preferential use of higher-dose and adjuvanted influenza vaccines for seniors. The recommendation applies to three vaccines: Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, Flublok Quadrivalent and Fluad Quadrivalent.
Jun 30 CDC statement
Avian flu strikes a few more backyard flocks
Though large highly pathogenic avian flu outbreaks in poultry have slowed, states continue to report sporadic outbreak in backyard poultry, according to updates from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
In Maine, the virus struck a backyard flock of 20 birds in Cumberland County, and in Washington, an outbreak was reported at a location with 6 birds in Yakima County.
Separately, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health yesterday in an e-mail update reported that high path H5 was detected in a hobby flock of two birds in Marion County. One was a goose that was tested after two wild birds on the property tested positive for the virus.
USDA APHIS poultry outbreak updates