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Update: Influenza Activity -- Worldwide, United States

Worldwide: During late 1984 and early 1985, influenza activity has occurred at low levels in most countries, but outbreaks have been reported from North America, Europe, and Asia. Influenza A(H3N2) has predominated, and infrequent outbreaks associated with influenza B viruses have also been reported. Influenza A(H1N1) isolates have been rare.

In addition to the previously reported outbreaks of type A(H3N2) influenza in the United States, widespread influenza A(H3N2) activity occurred in Norway and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during January and early February. At the same time, some outbreaks were reported from northern China, the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, and the United Kingdom. Sporadic cases were also reported from Canada, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Influenza A(H1N1) viruses were isolated from young adults in a single outbreak that occurred in Finland in November 1984; from an outbreak in February at a boarding school in England; and from a small number of sporadic cases in China, France, and Switzerland during late 1984 and early 1985.

Influenza B viruses were isolated during outbreaks in Indonesia, Taiwan Province of China, and the United Kingdom in January. Otherwise, only sporadic cases of influenza B infection have been reported in China, France, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, and Brazil.

United States: Trends of recent surveillance data suggest that national influenza activity began to level off in February (Figure 2). For the week ending February 23, 1985, 26 states reported widespread or regional outbreaks of influenza-like illness, compared with the previous week, when 28 states reported similar levels. Reported by Virus Diseases Unit, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; Participating physicians of the American Academy of Family Physicians; State and Territorial Epidemiologists; State Laboratory Directors; Other collaborating laboratories; Statistical Svcs Br, Div of Surveillance and Epidemiologic Studies, Epidemiology Program Office, WHO Collaborating Center for Influenza, Influenza Br, Div of Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.

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