We studied the spatio-temporal patterns of the proportions of influenza B cases out of all typed cases, with data from 139 countries and regions downloaded from the FluNet compiled by the World Health Organization, from January 2006 to October 2015. We restricted our analysis to 34 countries that reported more than 2,000 confirmations for each of types A and B over the study period. Globally, we found that Pearson's correlation is greater than 0.6 between effective distance from Mexico and the proportions of influenza B cases among the countries during the post-pandemic era (i.e. Week 1, 2010 to Week 40, 2015). Locally, in the United States, the proportions of influenza B cases in the pre-pandemic period (2003-2008) negatively correlated with that in the post-pandemic era (2010-2015) at the regional level. Our study limitations are the country-level variations in both surveillance methods and testing policies. The proportions of influenza B cases displayed wide variations over the study period. Our findings suggest that the 2009 influenza pandemic has an evident impact on the relative burden of the two influenza types. Future studies should examine whether there are other additional factors. This study has potential implications in prioritizing public health control measures.
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