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 in the time of COVID-19

Influenza epidemics are a familiar annual occurrence, what is new in 2020 is the COVID-19 pandemic. The consequences of being infected with influenza and COVID-19 at the same time are not yet clear but the importance of preventing influenza infection is a certainty, this year more than ever. The most effective way to avoid influenza infection is through vaccination.

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

Coronavirus infections

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of viruses that can infect humans and several of which originate in animal species. In humans, coronaviruses cause a range of infections from the common cold to more severe diseases such as COVID-19, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is one that has not been previously identified in humans; an example of this is 2019-nCoV (now COVID-19).

Avian influenza

Examples of avian influenza viruses that have recently caused human infections include highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H7N9), A(H5N1), and A(H5N6), and low pathogenic avian influenza A(H7N2).

More information, situation updates and WHO guidelines


Vaccination saves lives


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

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