Elevated flu levels in 9 countries, more flu news

In the week to Feb 2, nine countries reported high or very high levels of influenza activity and flu-like illnesses were widespread across the region. Almost two-thirds of viruses detected were type A - over 60 percent of those were A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses. Only four jurisdictions were reporting type B dominance – Georgia, Romania, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Read more. Flu activity in Canada was reported as increasing in the week to Feb 1 with influenza A(H1N1) dominant, while for the US in the same period, activity was low, minimal or moderate in five states as well as District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while the rest of the country reported high rates. Detections of influenza A(H1N1) viruses were rising.

Advice for travellers

Seasonal flu is the most common vaccine-preventable travel-related illness: it’s likely to be found aboard aircraft, in crowded airport terminals, and at your destination. Vaccination is highly recommended and travellers should also avoid close contact with people showing flu-like symptoms, and thoroughly washing hands using soap and water after using the toilet and before eating. Alcohol-based hand sanitiser is a convenient alternative if soap and water is not available.

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.