During the 42nd week of 2019 (from 14.10.2019 – 20.10.2019), 17 (I = 0.8/ 100,000) cases of influenza / flu-like illnesses were reported in the Republic of North Macedonia.
Compared to the number of cases registered in the 42nd week of last season (n = 18), it declined as compared to the typical seasonal curve (n = 42).
Most of the patients are registered in the Gostivar PH – 7 cases.
The highest incidence was registered in PH Gostivar of 5.8 / 100,000 inhabitants, and the lowest incidence in PH Skopje (0.2 / 100,000).
In the 2019/2020 season the total number of influenza cases was 34 (I = 1.6 / 100,000), which is less than the same period last year when 37 cases were registered (I = 1.8 / 100.000).
Regarding the distribution of the diseases by age groups, the highest number of cases was reported in the age group that covers the largest part of the population (15-64 years) – 17 cases (50%) and the highest incidence (3.5 / 100,000) is registered in children aged 5-14.
During the 42nd reporting week, 10 materials were available for laboratory testing of influenza in the IPH laboratory for virology.All were negative for the presence of influenza.
Vaccination against seasonal influenza is the most effective protection against this disease, which is why the Institute of Public Health recommends vaccination of the whole population, especially for people who are part of the so-called “influenza.” risk groups (according to WHO recommendations):
- Pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy
- children aged 6 months to 5 years
- the elderly aged 65 and over,
- people with chronic medical conditions – chronic illnesses and conditions of reduced immunity
- health professionals.
All interested people should contact the nearest Public Health Center or Regional Unit for more detailed information on seasonal influenza vaccination.
According to a report by Flu News Europe released in week 41 of 2019, influenza virus activity is at a low seasonal level across the European region. Influenza viruses are sporadically detected in patients with respiratory disease, and Influenza A and Influenza B. isolates are being isolated. From sentinel surveillance 4% of tested positive are influenza viruses: 11 Inluenza B (7 Inluenza B Victoria) and 6 Influenza A (3 A(H1N1)pdm09 and 3 A(H3N2)).