During the 43rd week of 2019 (from 21.10.2019 – 27.10.2019), 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 43rd week of last season (n = 14), and compared to the typical seasonal curve (n = 54), the number of reported cases was lower by 37.
Most of the patients are registered in the Gostivar PH – 8 cases.
The highest incidence was registered in PH Sveti Nikole of 9.8 / 100,000 inhabitants, and the lowest incidence in PH Skopje (0.7 / 100,000).
In the 2019/2020 season the total number of influenza cases was 51 (I = 2.5 / 100,000), which is identical to the same period last year, with a three-times decrease compared to the typical seasonal curve (n = 157).
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) – 24 cases (47.1%) and the highest incidence (5.2 / 100,000) is registered in children aged 0-4 and 5-14.
During the 43rd reporting week, 7 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):
Elderly people (over 65 years)• Pregnant women• Persons older than 6 months with chronic diseases• Health workers• Persons placed in gerontological centers and those employed in these centers• Persons accommodated in social security institutions and persons employed in those institutions• Public service employees who are particularly exposed to infection• Children aged 6-59 months.
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 42 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 2.7% of tested positive are influenza viruses:
- 18 Influenza A
- A(H1N1)pdm09 – 8
- A(H3N2) – 10
- 14 Inluenza B
- Victoria lineage – 8