Influenza activity remained at interseasonal levels. None of the 1 268 specimens tested for influenza in week 06/2021, from patients presenting with ILI or ARI symptoms to sentinel primary healthcare sites were positive for influenza virus.
Influenza viruses were detected sporadically from non-sentinel sources (such as hospitals, schools, primary care facilities not involved in sentinel surveillance, or nursing homes and other institutions). Both influenza type A and type B viruses were detected. There were no hospitalized laboratory-confirmed influenza case reported for week 06/2021.
The influenza epidemic in the European Region has usually reached its peak by this point in the year but, despite widespread and regular testing for influenza, reported influenza activity still remains at a very low level, likely due to the impact of the various public health and social measures implemented to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected healthcare-seeking behaviours, healthcare provision, and testing practices and capacities in countries and areas of the European Region, which have negatively impacted the reporting of influenza epidemiologic and virologic data during the 2020-2021 season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the influenza data we present will need to be interpreted with caution, notably in terms of seasonal patterns.