Influenza is an acute viral infection that spreads easily from person to person in any age group and that can cause serious complications in certain risk groups. In addition to seasonal epidemics, influenza pandemics can occur when a new influenza virus subtype emerges or when an animal influenza virus begins to spread among humans.

WHO/Europe influenza control and other respiratory pathogens

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Influenza vaccine: Protection for both health care workers and patients

Health care workers have a higher risk of getting influenza compared to the general adult population, due to the nature of their work. They can also transmit influenza to patients who may be especially vulnerable to complications. This year, WHO/Europe’s annual Flu Awareness Campaign aims to boost uptake of the seasonal influenza vaccine among health care workers.

Flu News Europe

Human illness from avian and swine influenza

Monthly Risk Assessment Summary

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework

PIP Framework

Countries in the Region are receiving support from the PIP Framework to strengthen lab and surveillance capacities

Country activities

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

This novel coronavirus was first reported to WHO in September 2012. The majority of cases have respiratory disease, from mild symptoms to severe pneumonia. The newest cases reported indicate that the source of infection remains active in the Middle East and is present throughout a large area.

More information, situation updates and WHO guidelines

Flu Awareness Campaign

Flu Awareness Campaign is a WHO/Europe led initiative held each year in October to increase seasonal influenza vaccination.

For more information on the campaign

Avian influenza A(H7N9)

Avian influenza A(H7N9) is one subgroup among the larger group of H7 viruses, which normally circulate among birds. The first reports of human infections with this new strain, detected in China, were reported to WHO on 31 March 2013.

More information, situation updates and WHO guidelines

Data and statistics

Up to 20%

of the population in the northern hemisphere is affected by annual influenza epidemics during autumn and winter.

More data and statistics


Flu: the 5 things everyone needs to know