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Influenza -- Worldwide, Canada, United States

From September through December 1983, influenza virus types A(H1N1), A(H3N2), and B have been isolated in various parts of the world, with major outbreaks in few areas.

Asia: In China, sporadic influenza A(H1N1) activity was reported during September in the northeast and south. A few type B viruses were isolated in Hong Kong in November. Influenza A(H1N1) and B viruses were also isolated in India during September. In Japan, sporadic cases of influenza A(H1N1) began in October, and by December, outbreaks had occurred in primary schools.

Africa: In South Africa, influenza A(H1N1) viruses were isolated from sporadic cases during October and November. This followed type A(H3N2) activity last spring and summer, which was generally moderate, with the exception of a large outbreak in a town where no influenza had occurred for 5 years. The attack rate in this town was estimated at 80%, and severe illnesses among schoolchildren and the elderly were reported. In central Africa, type A(H3N2) was isolated in December from a single case.

Caribbean: In Trinidad and Tobago, influenza A(H1N1) viruses were isolated in September. A small outbreak occurred in a youth camp, and a single case occurred in Port-of-Spain, but no widespread activity has been reported. Influenza B virus was isolated from a patient in Trinidad during October.

Europe: In November, influenza A(H3N2) viruses were isolated from one patient each in Italy and England and from sporadic cases among children in Bulgaria. In eastern Czechoslovakia, type A(H1N1) virus was isolated during an outbreak in a primary school in which 23% of children ages 6-14 years were affected.

Oceania: In September, influenza A(H1N1) was isolated in Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia, but no major outbreaks were reported. Following a decline in type A(H1N1 and H3N2) activity in Australia since July, influenza-like illness increased during November in Melbourne, where influenza A(H3N2) virus was isolated. In Fiji, influenza A(H1N1) viruses were isolated in September when outbreaks occurred throughout the islands.

Canada: Documented activity has been limited to sporadic cases. Four type A(H3N2) virus isolates were reported in November--three from Ontario and one from the Northwest Territories. Two type B virus isolates were reported--one in November from a virus watch program in Calgary, Alberta, and the other in December in Ontario.

United States: Influenza isolations from August to November 1983 included virus types A(H3N2), A(H1N1), and B (1). In December 1983 and early January 1984, further sporadic isolations of influenza virus types A(H1N1) and B were reported. Influenza B virus was isolated in Berkeley, California (from a college student), New Mexico (two children in one family), and Nassau County, New York (from a child). In Houston, Texas, where three type B virus isolates were reported in November, six additional type B isolates were obtained in December from children and adults. Influenza type A(H1N1) isolates were reported from 5-year-old children in Jacksonville, Florida (two cases), an adult in Nassau County, New York, two recruits at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, and a 13-year-old child in Las Vegas, Nevada. Outbreaks in Alaska associated with influenza type A(H3N2) isolates that began in November diminished in December. Reported by World Health Organization, Geneva; Caribbean Epidemiology Center, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad; Provincial Health Depts, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, Canada; P Swenson, PhD, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, K Szabo, MD, Nassau County Medical Center, New York; E Buff, MS, Florida Laboratory Svcs; R Speeks, PhD, New Mexico Laboratory Div; R Schieble, PhD, California Laboratory Svcs; D Ritter, Northern Regional Laboratory, Fairbanks, Alaska; P Reichelderfer, PhD, Sunrise Hospital, Las Vegas, Nevada; US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, San Antonio, Texas; Respective State Epidemiologists and Laboratory Directors; WHO Collaborating Centre, Influenza Br, Div of Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.


  1. CDC. Influenza--United States, August-November 1983. MMWR 1983;32:634-5.

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