During the 45thweek of 2018, the Republic of Macedonia registered 84 influenza cases/flu-like diseases(I=4.1/100.000). Compared with the number of registered cases in the last week, are increased (75%))and increased for 78.7% compared with the cases of the last season.(n=47)
Chart 1. Distribution of cases of seasonal influenza by week, typical epidemic curve of the seasons 2010-2018, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019
Regarding the distribution of patients by age groups, the largest number of cases this week have been reported in the age group of 15-64 years (n=57; 67,9% cases) and the highest incidence is registered in the age group, 0-4 years. (I=10.3 /100.000).
This week the biggest number of influenza cases is registered in Kumanovo, n= 26 and Tetovo (n=24)
In the 2017/2018 season, the total number of influenza cases is 183 (I = 8.8 / 100.000).
Compared with the same period last season (n = 300), there is a decrease in the total number of reported cases by 39.0%, and in relation to the model for the last 8 seasons (n = 346) a decrease of 47.2% .
Cumulatively this season, sick persons from 16 reporting units have been reported, and in 6 reporting units the number of reported infected persons is ≥10. The highest number of patients (n = 48; 26.2%; I = 24.0 / 100.000) were registered in CPH Tetovo, and the highest cumulative incidence was registered in RO Sveti Nikole (I = 43.9 / 100.000).
Regarding the distribution of the diseased by age groups, the cumulative number of cases was reported in the age group of 15-64 years – 113 cases (61.7%), and the highest cumulative incidence of 24.1 / 100.000 was registered in the youngest, children 0-4 years old
During the week 45 of 2018, the laboratory for virology of IPH has received 2 samples, materials for laboratory diagnostics. The samples are negative. Since the beginning of the season 2017/2018, the laboratory received 6 materials which were negative for the presence of influenza virus.
Vaccination against seasonal influenza is the most effective protection against this disease, therefore the Public Health Institute recommends vaccination of the entire population, especially for people belonging to risk groups (according to WHO recommendations):
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- children aged 6 months to 5 years
- elderly people aged 65 years and over,
- People with chronic diseases and conditions of weaken immunity
- Health workers.
For the first time, since this season of influenza, Macedonia launched a free influenza vaccination for a particular category of population. For that purpose, the Ministry of Health has purchased 28,000 doses for people over 65 years of age with an average, under-average pension or no income. Additional 15,160 doses were procured by the Public Health Centers as commercial vaccines for the rest of the population.
Vaccination with free and commercial influenza vaccines is carried out by CPH / RO, as well as the previous seasons, and for the first time this season, the appointment for free vaccines is through a family doctor in the My Term system.
According to the data from the Department of E-health, from the beginning of the vaccination on 05.11.2018, and as of the closing of this report, a total of 12,959 persons were vaccinated.
Table 1. Vaccinated persons with a free vaccine, by CPH / RO, R. of Macedonia, season 2018/2019
In terms of commercial vaccines, according to available data from CPH / RO, 13,006 people were vaccinated. The largest number of vaccinated are over the age of 65 years – 7,493 or 57.6%, aged 30-64 years – 4,795 or 36.9%, while at the age of 5-29 are 90 or 0.7 %. 2 children under the age of 5 were vaccinated. From the category of health workers, 626 persons or 4.8% were vaccinated. No vaccinated pregnant women. From the total number of vaccinated patients, 9,537 persons or 73.3% have a history of chronic diseases.
According to records presented in Flu News Europe (44th week/2018), the activity of influenza virus in Europe is low, and only a few countries (about 40%) reported sporadic detection of influenza viral infections. 1.7% samples were confirmed as positive. (from the sentinel surveillance tests in countries reporting to the TESSy system of the ECDC). So far, influenza type A is predominant with 80.6%, and most of the viruses are subtyped as A (H1N1)pdm09. with 70%