Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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In Réunion, a French overseas territory located in the southern hemisphere, increase in influenza activity is generally observed several months earlier than in Europe. Influenza activity is monitored in Réunion through a multi-source surveillance system including sentinel practitioners network, hospital emergency department, laboratory and mortality. Since 2009, three successive influenza epidemics occurred on the island. The largest was observed in 2009 while epidemics in 2010 and 2011 were much weaker. In terms of circulating strains, B viruses were predominant at the beginning of the 2009 epidemic but they were completely evicted once A(H1N1)pdm09 circulation started. In 2010, A(H1N1)pdm09 virus was predominant again, but a constant co-circulation of B viruses was observed. In 2011, A(H3N2) virus circulated. The same viruses were identified a few months later in mainland France in the respective seasons. Since 2009, virus circulation, epidemiological trends and health impact of influenza have been similar to those observed in Europe. Influenza surveillance in Réunion may therefore give reliable early information which should be considered apart from the surveillance in mainland France. Then, it might be even a more suitable predictor for Europe than other temperate southern hemisphere countries. .


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