Most of North America, Europe, and Central Asia started the new year with rising rates of influenza virus, according to the latest global flu update published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“In the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, respiratory illness indicators and influenza activity continued to increase overall,” the WHO said.

Though influenza B is dominating in Canada and the United States, 68.7% of global lab specimens were typed as influenza A and 31.3% as influenza B during the last week of December, the WHO said.

Of the A viruses, 28.9% were 2009 H1N1 and 71.1% were H3N2. Of the characterized B viruses, 1.5% belonged to the Yamagata lineage and 98.5% to the Victoria lineage.

Influenza B rising in Canada, US, Cuba

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