Important to note is that COVID-19 is not over, but cases are decreasing, and more countries are going back to normal. Moreover, there are fewer updates and COVID-19 is not highlighted in the news every day anymore. Therefore, we will also focus on other outbreaks or health-related topics. This week we will talk about influenza. ​Below you’ll see the main differences in symptoms caused by the common cold vs. influenza viruses:

Influenza, also know as flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at higher risk of serious flu complications. There are three types of influenza: A, B and C. Type A and B cause the annual influenza epidemics.

The topic is well covered in the

Global Patterns in Seasonal Activity of Influenza A/H3N2, A/H1N1, and B from 1997 to 2005: Viral Coexistence and Latitudinal Gradients” research article written by Brian S. Finkelman, Cécile Viboud, Katia Koelle, Matthew J. Ferrari, Nita Bharti, Bryan T. Grenfell.

Influenza outbreak

World Health Organization raises the flag in the article “Joint statement – Influenza season epidemic kicks off early in Europe as concerns over RSV rise and COVID-19 is still a threat”.

The 2022-2023 influenza (flu) season epidemic is off to an early start in the European region as concerns over Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) rise and COVID-19 is still being a threat.

The number of patients who visited a doctor with ILI symptoms and later tested positive for an influenza virus has increased by +/- 30%. Influenza activity is increasing; however, it remains at a lower level than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Most patients test positive for type-A influenza which is so far dominant. ​

To protect yourself and others follow the prevention strategies outlined by the CDC. In short, this means staying at home when you’re sick, covering your mouth and nose when coughing/sneezing, cleaning your hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Moreover, you can also get a flu shot (I.e. influenza vaccination). ​