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Abstract

After the near absence of influenza and other respiratory viruses during the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increased activity of mainly influenza A(H3N2) was detected at the beginning of August 2022 in Greece on three islands. Of 33 cases with respiratory symptoms testing negative for SARS-CoV-2 with rapid antigen tests, 24 were positive for influenza: 20 as A(H3N2) subtype and four as A(H1N1)pdm09 subtype. Phylogenetic analysis of selected samples from both subtypes was performed and they fell into clusters within subclades that included the 2022/23 vaccine strains. Our data suggest that influenza can be transmitted even in the presence of another highly infectious pathogen, such as SARS-CoV-2, with a similar transmission mode. We highlight the need for implementing changes in the current influenza surveillance and suggest a move from seasonal to continuous surveillance, especially in areas with a high number of tourists. Year-round surveillance would allow for a timelier start of vaccination campaigns and antiviral drugs procurement processes.

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/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2023.28.28.2200754
2023-07-13
2024-06-20
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2023.28.28.2200754
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