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 212,365 laboratory confirmed notifications of Influenza in Australia for 2017, at the start of 16 October.
- ACT: 2,962
- NSW: 99,731
- NT: 1,290
- QLD: 52,822
- SA: 23,503
- TAS: 3,309
- VIC: 23,877
- WA: 4,871
For more national data:
Week ending 8 October 2017
Influenza activity continues to decline as we approach the end of the season.
Influenza B strains were again the predominant influenza type.
In this reporting week:
Hospital surveillance – emergency department presentations for respiratory illness, including influenza-like illness (ILI), decreased further. Overall activity remained high.
Laboratory surveillance – the total number of influenza isolations decreased further, and the influenza-positive test rate was lower at 20.2%. Both the number of influenza A and B strains identified and the positive proportions continued to fall.
Community surveillance – influenza notifications decreased overall. ASPREN and FluTracking surveillance indicated further declines in ILI activity. The frail elderly continue to be at increased risk with a further 14 outbreaks reported in residential aged care facilities.
Deaths with pneumonia or influenza reported on the death certificate – the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages has recorded 403 deaths in association with influenza in 2017 (up to 15 September). The rate of deaths classified as “pneumonia and influenza” has decreased overall.
National and international influenza surveillance – influenza activity at the national level continued to decline this reporting fortnight after reaching a peak in mid-August. Despite the national decline, high levels of activity continue to be reported across the country, with seasonal activity in some areas of the country yet to have reached a peak. Worldwide, influenza A(H3N2) 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 8 October 2017
Recent week onset (2 to 8 October) there were 980 notifications.
479 (49%) were typed as influenza A and 501 (51%) as influenza B.
23 influenza A have been subtyped; four A(H1N1)pdm09 and 19 A/H3N2.
Subtype is unavailable for 456 influenza A cases.
YTD 2017 (1 January to 8 October) there have been 51,898 notifications.
35,235 (68%) were typed as influenza A and 16,663 (32%) as influenza B.
2,980 influenza A have been subtyped: 529 (18%) were A(H1N1)pdm09 and 2,451 (82%) were A/H3N2.
Subtype is unavailable for 32,255 influenza A cases.
The statewide percentage of positive tests (public laboratories) in the most recent week was 20.5%.
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%)t han males (45%).
Median age was 38 years, with a range of younger than one year to 105 years.
For more information: QLD Health – Preventable Diseases
24 – 30 September 2017
One thousand, nine hundred and sixty-seven cases of influenza were reported this week with 1,045 cases being characterised as influenza A and 922 as influenza B. Cases comprised of 860 males and 1107 females, with a median age of 38 years. There have been 21,401 cases of influenza notified year-to-date, compared with 4,567 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
September 2017 Update
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.
Mid-September 2017 update:
▪The current intense mid-seasonal influenza activity is occurring in all regions of Tasmania.
▪In 2017, the highest number of notifications was in the first week of September, with 473 cases notified.
▪The majority of notifications (68%) have been influenza A, with A(H3N2) the most commonly detected subtype.
▪In the year to date, there have been 41 outbreaks of influenza like illness reported in institutions.
From1 January to 17 September there were 2,722 cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza notified in Tasmania. This is an increase on previous years; during the five-years 2012 to 2016, there was an average of 809 notifications during the January to September period.
The 2017 influenza season commenced at the end of June. Influenza notifications increased to an intense seasonal level during August 2017, with 1 259 cases of influenza notified in August. From 1 to 17 September, 905 cases have been notified. During this period there was also an increase in influenza testing. Surveillance of hospital admissions for influenza indicates intense mid-seasonal activity.
Week ending 8 October 2017
Overview: The 2017 influenza season so far
Influenza surveillance systems are at average levels.
The number of notified laboratory confirmed influenza cases for the year to 8 October is higher than at the same time in 2016. The increase in cases to mark the start of the season occurred earlier this year (late June) compared to last year (early August), and the number of notifications has been higher than in the previous year. Most notified cases year-to-date have been type A (77%), although there has been a later peak in influenza B cases.
Nineteen swabs were received this week, of which four were positive for influenza A(untyped), one was positive for influenza A (H1) and five were positive for influenza B. The percentage of swabs positive for influenza increased this week to 53%, with an increase in influenza B diagnoses, although in the last two weeks the number of swabs tested has decreased. VicSPIN ILI rates increased slightly this week but remain at average levels.
We continue to encourage GPs to swab all ILI patients (where possible) and ensure all ILI patients are recorded on the tally sheet.
The new database has been rolled out at www.vicspin.com.au. We have sent login details to all practices and would encourage all GP’s to use the database for data entry. Please contact us with any feedback.
For more information: Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory
Week ending 8 October 2017
INFLUENZA AND INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESSES (ILI)
ILI activity and influenza notifications, PathWest direct detections, test percent positivity, and hospitalisations are all in decline. Current activity levels are around the average level expected at this time of year.
ILI presentations at sentinel GPs and EDs are decreasing.
Influenza notifications, PathWest laboratory detections and percent positivity are trending downwards; influenza A/H3N2 virus remains predominant but is declining in both absolute and relative terms, comprising 52% of PathWest detections this week, followed by influenza B (24%) and A/H1N1 (24%).
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.
28th August – 10 September 2017
Influenza-like-illness levels are decreasing.
216 Cases of influenza have been detected in this reporting period:
135 x Influenza A
81 x Influenza B
51% Influenza positivity during the reporting period.
966 Cases of influenza have been detected this year: 652 x Influenza A; 314 x Influenza B.
Syndromic Surveillance Reporting:
Reports were received from 316 reporters from 8 states and territories during the reporting period. This includes data from GPs reporting to VicSPIN. During weeks 35 and 36 reporters saw a total of 47,945 patients.
Nationally, ILI notifications decreased over the period with 989 notifications being reported in weeks 35—36. ILI rates reported in this period decreased to 23 and 22 cases per 1000 consultations (weighted) in weeks 35 and 36 respectively. This was lower than the rates seen in the previous fortnight where rates were 27 and 26 cases per 1000 consultations. For the same reporting period in 2016, ILI rates were lower at 14 and 12 cases per 1000 consultations for weeks 35 and 36 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 8 October 2017
Low levels of influenza-like illness activity.
This survey was sent on Monday, 09 October 2017 at 01:13 AM and by 09:00 AM, Thursday 12 October we had received 24286 responses (22469 last week) from 14619 people responding for themselves and 9667 household members across Australia.
Across Australia, fever and cough was reported by 1.4% of vaccinated participants and 1.6% of unvaccinated participants. Fever, cough and absence from normal duties was reported by 1.1% of vaccinated participants and 1.0% of unvaccinated participants.
For participants this week, 15365/24286 (63.3 %) have received the seasonal vaccine so far. Of the 4527 participants who identified as working face-to-face with patients, 3679 (81.3%) have received the vaccine.
For more information, or to enrol: Flu Tracking
Week ending 1 October 2017
Influenza-like illness (ILI) consultation rates decreased compared to the previous week, and were below the seasonal threshold level.
Influenza A(H3N2) are the predominant viruses in New Zealand this year.
Influenza B/Victoria lineage viruses also co-circulated with B/Yamagata lineage viruses with more B/Yamagata viruses this year.
During week 39, ending 1 October 2017, 80 patients with influenza-like illness consulted sentinel general practices in 20 DHBs. The weekly ILI incidence was 19.5 per 100 000 patient population. Of the 36 tested ILI cases, eight were positive for influenza viruses. This gives an ILI related influenza incidence (adjusted) of 4.3 per 100 000 patient population.
Since 2 January 2017, a total of 2893 ILI cases were identified. This gives a cumulative ILI incidence of 703.7 per 100 000 patient population. Among the 2325 tested ILI cases, 963 (41.4%) were positive for influenza viruses. This gives an ILI related (adjusted) influenza incidence of 291.5 per 100 000 patient population.
For more information: NZ Flu Surveillance
Page first published: 22 March 2017
Page updated: 16 October 2017