Influenza Activity Surveillance 2017
Surveillance of Influenza activity in Australia and New Zealand.
This report provides a summary of surveillance data collected from around Australia and New Zealand. Regional reporting in some areas ceases when flu activity is low (out of season). Please note that the vast majority of people do not get tested for influenza and that there may also be some delays in reporting confirmed influenza cases.
Therefore data presented here may be underestimating influenza activity.
Click above for an up to date PDF of Australian Influenza Statistics.
Commonwealth Department of Health & Ageing
There have been a total of 234,869 laboratory confirmed notifications of Influenza in Australia for 2017, at the start of 4 December.
- ACT: 3,071
- NSW: 103,356
- NT: 1,427
- QLD: 55,331
- SA: 26,428
- TAS: 3,474
- VIC: 36,050
- WA: 5,732
For more national data:
Week ending 29 October 2017
Influenza activity indicators are now at inter-seasonal levels.
Influenza B activity is declining but it remains the predominant influenza type.
In this reporting week:
Hospital surveillance – emergency department presentations for respiratory illness, including influenza-like illness (ILI), is low. Overall activity is within the usual range for this time of year.
Laboratory surveillance – the total number of influenza isolations decreased further, and the influenza-positive test rate was lower at 4.7%. Influenza B strains continued to be more commonly identified than A strains.
Community surveillance – influenza notifications decreased further. ASPREN surveillance indicates low activity. There were no outbreaks reported in aged care facilities in the last week.
National and international influenza surveillance – the most recent national influenza activity showed a continuing decline in influenza notifications after reaching a peak in mid-August. Worldwide, influenza A(H3N2) and B viruses are predominating.
Recommended composition of 2018 influenza vaccines – new recommendations for the 2018 seasonal influenza vaccines include a change in the A(H3N2) component.
For more information: NSW Health – Infectious Diseases Alert
Week ending 22 October 2017
Recent week onset (16 to 22 October) there were 467 notifications.
211 (45%) were typed as influenza A and 256 (55%) as influenza B.
5 influenza A have been subtyped all of which are A/H3N2.
Subtype is unavailable for 206 influenza A cases.
YTD 2017 (1 January to 22 October) there have been 53,451 notifications.
35,962 (67%) were typed as influenza A and 17,489 (33%) as influenza B.
3,070 influenza A have been subtyped: 538 (18%) were A(H1N1)pdm09 and 2,532 (82%) were A/H3N2.
Subtype is unavailable for 32,892 influenza A cases.
The statewide percentage of positive tests (public laboratories) in the most recent week was 11.1%.
Notification counts for the recent week are expected to rise as further data become available and will be adjusted in the next report.
Overall notifications were higher in females (55%) than males (45%).
Median age was 38 years, with a range of younger than one year to 105 years.
Public hospital admissions with confirmed influenza:
In the recent week (16 to 22 October) there were 33 admissions, including four
to intensive care.
More females (52%) than males (48%) have been hospitalised.
Mean and median ages were 56 and 65 years respectively, with a range of younger than one year to 105 years.
For more information: QLD Health – Preventable Diseases
19 – 25 November 2017
One hundred and thirty-one cases of influenza were reported this week with 20 cases being characterised as influenza A and 111 as influenza B. Cases comprised of 56 males and 75 females, with a median age of 35 years. There have been 26,292 cases of influenza notified year-to-date, compared with 7,211 cases reported for the same period last year. Influenza notifications are higher than currently reported as not all influenza notifications have been entered into the surveillance system.
For more information: Communicable Diseases Control Branch
Public Health Services produce the fluTAS Report to provide information about the level of influenza (flu) in Tasmania. This is a short interim fluTAS report to provide additional data during the peak of the season.
September 2017 update:
▪ The 2017 influenza season peaked during the first week of September.
▪Influenza activity is declining but still above baseline levels.
▪Influenza hospital admissions peaked during September. Community influenza-like illness surveillance is also indicating decreasing seasonal activity.
There were 1 376 notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza during September 2017. This exceeded the August 2017 total (1 260 notifications). There have been a total of 3 193 influenza notifications since the start of 2017.
The 2017 peak in laboratory-confirmed influenza occurred during the first week of September (week 36) with 474 cases notified. Influenza notifications decreased during the remainder of September. The number of influenza notifications at the end of September remained high compared to the Tasmanian inter-seasonal baseline.
The majority of notifications were due to Influenza A (69 per cent), similar to previous months.
Year to date, notification rates have been highest in the South, closely followed by the North. During September the North of Tasmania experienced a similarly high notification rate compared to the South.
Twenty four new institutional outbreaks of influenza were notified during September. Since the start of 2017 a total of 43 outbreaks have been reported; 35 age-care facilities, six hospitals and two other facilities providing residential care. Influenza was detected in 37 of the 43 outbreaks, with Influenza A(H3N2) the most commonly reported subtype (in 14 out of 37 outbreaks).
Notifications of influenza are based on positive laboratory tests. Many people with flu-like illness choose not to attend medical care, or are not tested when they attend for a variety of reasons. As a result laboratory notifications under-represent the burden of influenza illness in the community.
Week ending 29 October 2017
Overview: The 2017 influenza season so far
Influenza surveillance systems have returned to baseline levels.
The number of notified laboratory confirmed influenza cases for the year to 29 October is higher than at the same time in 2016. Most notified cases year-to-date have been type A (69%), with most cases now influenza B, but total numbers of notified cases continue to decrease.
Five swabs were received this week, none which were positive for influenza. VicSPIN ILI rates increased slightly this week but remain at baseline levels.
This is the final report for the 2017 season. Thank you to all the GPs and practice managers who participated in the program. We will be in touch in due course regarding arrangements for VicSPIN in 2018.
For more information: Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory
Week ending 26 November 2017
INFLUENZA AND INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESSES (ILI)
Influenza notifications, PathWest laboratory detections, and percent positivity continue to trend downwards this week. Current influenza activity is around the average level expected at this time of year.
ILI presentations at sentinel GPs and EDs decreased this week.
PathWest laboratory detections continued to decrease this week, whilst percent positivity remained stable. There is ongoing late season influenza B virus activity, now comprising 71% of detections, complemented by declining A/H3N2 activity – comprising only 19% of detections this week.
For more information: WA Virus WAtch
ASPREN is a national syndromic surveillance program co-ordinated by the Discipline of General Practice at the University of Adelaide and The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. One of the conditions under surveillance is influenza like illness (ILI). General practitioners participating in the ASPREN program contribute data on the proportion of consultations which are ILI related.
23 October – 5 November 2017
Influenza-like-illness levels are decreasing.
10 cases of influenza have been detected in this reporting period: 3 x Influenza; A 7 x Influenza B.
9% Influenza positivity during the reporting period.
1290 cases of influenza have been detected this year: 821 x Influenza A; 469 x Influenza B.
Reports were received from 331 reporters from 8 states and territories during the reporting period. This includes data from GPs reporting to VicSPIN. During weeks 43 and 44 reporters saw a total of 43,972 patients.
Nationally, ILI notifications decreased over the period with 203 notifications being reported in weeks 43-44. ILI rates reported in this period decreased to 5 and 4 cases per 1000 consultations (weighted) in weeks 43 and 44 respectively. This was lower than seen in the previous fortnight where rates were 7 and 5 cases per 1000 consultations respectively. For the same reporting period in 2016, ILI rates were lower at 3 and 4 cases per 1000 consultations for weeks 43 and 44 respectively.
(Baseline ILL < 4 in 1000 consultations, Normal 4< ILL rate <24).
For more information: ASPREN
FluTracking is a pilot online health surveillance system which aims to detect epidemics of influenza. It is a joint initiative of The University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Area Health Service (NSW Health) and Hunter Medical Research Institute. Participation is voluntary and involves the completion of a weekly online survey during the influenza season. Data are collected on basic demographics, symptoms of ILI and absenteeism.
Week ending 15 October 2017
Low levels of influenza-like illness activity
This survey was sent on Monday, 16 October 2017 at 01:13 AM and by 09:00 AM, Thursday 19 October we had received 25078 responses (24406 last week) from 15039 people responding for themselves and 10039 household members across Australia.
Across Australia, fever and cough was reported by 1.2% of vaccinated participants and 1.1% of unvaccinated participants. Fever, cough and absence from normal duties was reported by 0.9% of vaccinated participants and 0.7% of unvaccinated participants.
For participants this week, 15853/25078 (63.2 %) have received the seasonal vaccine so far. Of the 4604 participants who identified as working face-to-face with patients, 3745 (81.3%) have received the vaccine.
This is the last FluTracking report for 2017.
For more information, or to enrol: Flu Tracking
During October, influenza activity was low among consultation-seeking patients nationwide. Influenza activity was also low among those hospitalised ICU patients in Auckland and Counties Manukau District Health Boards.
ILI surveillance: 69 patients with influenza-like illness consulted sentinel general practices in 20 DHBs. The monthly ILI incidence was 16.8 per 100 000 patient population
Since 2 January 2017, a total of 2962 ILI cases were identified. This gives an ILI cumulative incidence of 720.4 per 100 000 patient population.
For more information: NZ Flu Surveillance
Page first published: 22 March 2017
Page updated: 4 December 2017