Flu epidemic activity continues to decline in Portugal

National Institute of Health Influenza Epidemiological Surveillance Bulletin. Ricardo Jorge (INSA) points to “a decrease in the detection of cases of infection by the influenza virus over the past three weeks” and “excess mortality from all causes combined”.

In week 19 (May 9-15), the Portuguese network of influenza diagnostic laboratories (hospitals) detected 323 positive cases for the influenza virus, all type A. In 184 of the cases, the A(H3) subtype has been identified. ).

“To date, 202 cases of influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2 co-infection have been detected,” the report said.

As for the severity of the cases, the document points out that one case of influenza (Influenza A) was reported by the 18 intensive care units that sent information.

“The patient was 75 years old, had no chronic illnesses, and her seasonal influenza vaccination status is unknown,” the bulletin said.

Two cases of influenza were also reported by the three services which sent information and the Influenza A(H3N2) virus was identified.

“One patient was between 03-05 years old and another between 11-15 years old. Both had a chronic illness with indication of vaccination against seasonal flu, but they were not vaccinated”, underlines the INSA.

In the week of May 9-15, an incidence rate of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and an incidence rate of acute respiratory infections were estimated at 26.8 per 100,000 population, compared to 34.6 the previous week for 100,000 inhabitants.

The institute stresses that this value must be interpreted taking into account “the reorganization of care for respiratory patients and the smaller population under observation than that observed at the same period in previous years, and that the history of the rate of The weekly incidence is recalculated on the date of publication of the bulletin”.

According to the bulletin, 188 positive cases have been detected for other respiratory agents.

Since the beginning of the influenza season, 29 cases of influenza have been reported by the ICUs collaborating in surveillance, all due to the Influenza A virus, 1 due to A(H1N1), 2 due to A(H3N2), 1 of the sub -type A(H3) and 25 (86.2%) unsubtyped.

It was found that 13 (44.8%) patients were over 65 years old, 14 (48.3%) were between 15 and 64 years old and 2 (6.9%) were under 15 years old, of whom 21 (72 .4%) had underlying chronic disease, with a recommendation for seasonal influenza vaccination.

Since the start of the season, the Infirmaries have reported 21 cases of influenza. In all cases, the Influenza A virus was identified, ie 17 (81%) by A(H3N2) and 4 (19%) not subtyped.

“All the cases were aged 15 or less”, specifies the INSA, specifying that in 11 cases (52.4%) the patients had an underlying chronic disease, of which 1 was vaccinated.

During the 2021/2022 season, the laboratories of the Portuguese Network of Laboratories for Influenza Diagnosis reported 113,372 cases of respiratory infection and 7,562 cases of influenza were identified.

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