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International Notes Update: Influenza Activity -- Worldwide -- and Influenza Vaccine Availability -- United States

UPDATE In 1988, influenza-like illness worldwide has been associated with all three virus types--A(H3N2), A(H1N1) and B. Different viruses predominated in different countries.

Oceania. In New Zealand, where influenza activity has been greater than in recent years, activity began in April and peaked in June. Virus isolates have been almost exclusively type A(H3N2). Persons of all ages have been infected, and one influenza- associated death has been confirmed. In Australia, type A(H1N1) virus predominated; in western Australia, type A(H3N2) virus has also been isolated. In Fiji, outbreaks of influenza type A(H1N1) during August were reported.

Asia. In June, outbreaks of influenza A(H1N1) occurred among schoolchildren in southern China. In addition, Hong Kong and Singapore reported sporadic cases of all types of influenza in children and adults. The Republic of Korea, which reported outbreaks of all types of influenza in Seoul earlier this year, has reported only sporadic cases since April. Taiwan, where type B virus was reported early in the year, reported localized outbreaks of type A(H1N1) virus in June and July.

South America. Chile and Uruguay have reported widespread influenza A(H3N2) activity that began in May and peaked in June. In Uruguay, influenza B was also isolated in June. Argentina and Panama reported influenza type B isolates from June through August; however, since mid-September, Panama has reported serologically confirmed influenza A(H3N2). Viral isolations are pending.

Europe and United States. Influenza has been isolated in Europe and the United States throughout the summer. England reported an outbreak of influenza A(H3N2) among young men in a military unit in July, and Czechoslovakia reported type A(H1N1) virus activity in June. In the United States, influenza B isolates were reported from Arizona during June, July, and August and from Texas in late July. Type A(H1N1) virus was isolated from a child with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Washington, D.C., in late July.

INFLUENZA VACCINE AVAILABILITY--UNITED STATES Production of the trivalent influenza vaccine for the 1988-89 season has been delayed because of decreased growth of at least one of the constituent strains of the influenza viruses. The reduced rate of vaccine production has resulted in a 4-6-week delay in vaccine distribution for some areas. However, each of the three vaccine manufacturers expect to complete distribution of orders by late October. Health-care providers and public health departments should ensure that priority is given to targeting vaccination activities toward persons at high risk for influenza-associated complications (1). Reported by: National Influenza Centers. Communicable Diseases Div, World Health Organization, Geneva. Participating state and territorial epidemiologists and state laboratory directors. Office of Biologics, Div of Virology, Food and Drug Administration. WHO Collaborating Center for Influenza, Influenza Br, and Epidemiology Office, Div of Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases; Div of Immunization, Center for Prevention Svcs, CDC.

Reference

  1. Immunization Practices Advisory Committee. Prevention and control of influenza. MMWR 1988;37:361-4,369-73.



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