High proportion of influenza B viruses

Thu 23rd Feb, 2023

Image by BrunoThe number of laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in Germany has risen slightly again. Around 2,400 cases were reported to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) last week - more than in each of the previous three weeks, as reported by the Influenza Working Group on Wednesday evening. The proportion of so-called influenza B viruses has increased significantly in recent weeks.

The RKI had recently already announced the end of the exceptionally early flu wave. This was caused by influenza viruses of subtype A(H3N2). In earlier influenza waves, too, there was often an increase in the proportion of influenza B after the initial circulation of influenza A. The increase in the proportion of influenza B was also due to a rise in the number of influenza A viruses.

A total of about 267,420 confirmed influenza cases have been reported to the RKI since the beginning of the season. The number of deaths with influenza infection was reported as 904 in the report.

The reporting figures represent only a slice of what has actually happened. The severity of the wave is usually assessed by the RKI after the fact.

The relatively high activity of acute respiratory infections overall - even after the end of the flu and RSV wave - appears to be caused by a combination of different pathogens, it added. Among them, it said, were typical cold viruses. "The current level was in the upper range of pre-pandemic years around this time."

Image by Bruno


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