During the 7th week of 2017, the Republic of Macedonia registered 220 influenza cases/flu-like diseases. Compared with the registered cases in the last week  (386), the number has decreased by 43.0%.

The total number of reported cases this week, exceed below the limit of low activity, according to MEM model to determine the intensity of the activity of seasonal flu (chart 1).

Chart 1. Intensity level and weekly distribution of influenza / influenza like illness, by the expected epidemic curve of 2010-2016, the season 2015/2016 and 2016/2017

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The highest number of patients (n = 46) was registered on the territory of CPH Ohrid, then Strumica-21, Kumanovo-19, Tetovo-18. The highest incidence of 82.0/ 100,000, was registered on the territory of Ohrid, where was detected seasonal activity of the influenza virus. Also, a seasonal activity was detected in Debar, Kavadarci, Sveti Nikole. 15 CPH / RO show very low activity of influenza, and no cases registered in 12 CPH.

Picture 1. Activity level of flu by the incidence of 100,000, week 7, 2017

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This week, the highest number of patients (n = 162, 73.6%) have been reported in the largest age group of 15-64 years, children aged 5-14 with 11.7% (n=26),  elderly 65+ with 7.7% (n=17), and children aged 0-4 with (6.8%;  n=15). The highest incidence of  12.9/ 100,000 was registered in age group 0-4, in children aged 5-14 was 11.2/100 000, in the age group of 15-64 I=11.1/100 000, and the lowest is registered in elderly (65+)  (I=6.5/100.000), (Chart 2).

 Chart 2. Distribution of seasonal flu by age groups and incidence per 100,000 inhabitants, season 2016/2017

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The total number of flu cases is 34103 (I = 1648.1/ 100.000). This season have been reported infected people from all reporting units. The most of the cases which have been reported are from Skopje (n=4549; 13,3%), Strumica (n=3.222; 9,4%) and Kavadarci (n=2971; 8,7%) (Chart 3). The highest incidence is registered on the territory of Kavadarci -(I=6903.8/100.000), Sveti Nikole- (I=5718.6/100.000), and Strumica (I=3401.7/100.000) (Chart 3). During this season were registered 2 deaths associated with influenza,

Chart 3. Distribution of seasonal flu by CPH/RO and incidence per 100,000 inhabitants, season 2016/2017

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From the total number of cases of flu/flu-like illnesses, 15073 or 45.0% were reported in December, 1.6%(532) in November and 0.5%.(171) in October. 17158, or 50.3% are reported in January, 1169 or 3.4% in February. Regarding the distribution of patients by age groups, the largest number of cases this season have been reported in the age group of 15-64 years –n=23491 or 68.9% and the highest incidence (1965.0 / 100,000) is registered in the age groups 5-14 and in the age group of 0-4. (1910.6/100.000). 3844 cases and incidence of (1466.4 / 100,000) is registered in the age group over 65. (Chart 4)

Chart 4. Distribution of seasonal flu by age groups, season 2016/2017

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During the week 7 of 2017, the laboratory for virology of IPH has received  5 samples, (material for laboratory diagnostics), all negative to the presence of the influenza virus (Influenza A/H3). 

Since the beginning of the season 2016/2017, the laboratory received 150 materials, from the routine and sentinel and 58 (38.7%)  were positive for the presence of influenza virus, of which 55- Influenza A/H3, 2 non-typed Influenza A virus, 1 Influenza B. (chart 5)

Chart 5. Weekly distribution of number and percentage of positive samples of influenza 2016/2017

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According to reports received by CPH / RO, 99.9% of total purchased vaccines are used, or 26665 persons are vaccinated.. The majority of the vaccinated are aged over 64 years – 15324 cases or 57.5%, 30-64 years – 10001 cases or 37,5%, and  5-29 – 661 cases or 2.5%. In the age group 0-4 years- 10 cases, and 613 health workers (2,3%). There are no vaccinated pregnant women. From the total number of the vaccinated, 17908 persons or 67.2% have a history of chronic diseases. The vaccination has finished in every CPH/RO

EUROPE

According to records presented in Flu News Europe (week 6/2017), the activity of influenza virus in Europe is with high activity, and the countries reported detection of 42% positive samples. The pandemic reached its peak in week 46 in the season 2009/2010, and week 48-51, in the previous 5 seasons. So far, this year, most of the viruses are subtyped as A (H3N2) with 99%, while last year, the subtype A(H1N1)pdm09 was predominant