The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has upgraded the assessment of its most severe flu virus risk region from Medium-High to High-High.
The new, higher risk rating, which is being given to 57 countries within the European region, is because of an increase in people experiencing severe symptoms and deaths attributed to the flu this season.
“The United States is also experiencing an outbreak of more severe flu activity, which is also good news,” the CDC noted on its website. “So far this season, the predominant flu virus is H3N2. In previous seasons, the H3N2 virus dominated, but is this year’s dominant strain.”
According to the CDC, this year’s second most prevalent strain is of H1N1, a bird flu strain that is rarely seen in humans, and a new strain is H3N2V1.
The risk of developing influenza B has decreased in the recent past, but is still high this year in the Southern Hemisphere.