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 248,125 laboratory confirmed notifications of Influenza in Australia for 2017, at the start of 18 December.
- ACT: 3,078
- NSW: 103,564
- NT: 1,442
- QLD: 55,713
- SA: 27,059
- TAS: 3,484
- VIC: 47,936
- WA: 5,849
For more national data:
Influenza activity during November continued to decline and was generally low as is typical for this time of year. Both influenza A and B were circulating at similar levels .
The rate of influenza like illness (ILI) presentations to selected emergency departments was low and consistent with inter-seasonal activity.
The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza remained low.
Presentations in all the respiratory illness, fever and unspecified infections category decreased and were within the usual seasonal range, and likely represent presentations for respiratory conditions other than influenza, such as for asthma and bronchiolitis. Presentations were elevated at Kempsey Hospital.
The index of increase for ILI presentations was 0.4 at the end November, well below the seasonal threshold of 15 .
ED presentations for ILI were within the historical range for this time of year overall.
Laboratory testing summary for influenza:
Sentinel laboratory surveillance for influenza and other respiratory viruses is conducted throughout the year. In November 2017:
A total of 25,314 tests for respiratory viruses were performed at sentinel NSW laboratories and 626 (2.5 %) were positive for influenza.
319 specimens tested positive for influenza A – 25 of these tested positive for A(H3N2), 21 tested positive for influenza A ( H1N1) and 273 were not typed further.
307 cases of influenza B were reported.
Influenza activity for November returned to inter – seasonal levels and activity was low. The rate was lower than this time last year but similar to previous years.
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
3 – 9 December 2017
Sixty – three cases of influenza w ere reported this week with 21 cases being characterised as influenza A and 42 as influenza B. Cases comprised of 28 males and 35 females, with a median age of 4 5 years . There have been 26,794 cases of influenza notified year-to-date, compared with 7,581 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 10 December 2017
INFLUENZA AND INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESSES (ILI)
Syndromic influenza-like illness activity and influenza notifications, PathWest laboratory detections, and percent positivity are all at or approaching baseline inter-seasonal levels.
ILI presentations at sentinel GPs decreased this week and are now at inter-seasonal levels. ED ILI activity increased but levels are relatively low and consistent with this time of year.
PathWest laboratory detections continue to decrease, whilst percent positivity remained stable this week. There is ongoing late season influenza B virus activity (53% of detections this week), complemented by A/H3N2 activity (43%). Influenza B activity currently relatively high in the Kimberley region.
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.
20 November – 3 December 2017
Influenza-like-illness levels are decreasing.
1 case of influenza has been detected in this reporting period:
1 x Influenza B
7% Influenza positivity during the reporting period.
1296 cases of Influenza have been detected this year:
822 x Influenza A
474 x Influenza B
Syndromic Surveillance Reporting:
Reports were received from 254 reporters from 8 states and territories during the reporting period. During weeks 47 and 48 reporters saw a total of 38,680 patients .
Nationally, ILI notifications decreased over the period with 107 notifications being reported in weeks 47-48. ILI rates reported in this period decreased to 4 and 2 cases per 1000 consultations (weighted) in weeks 47 and 48 respectively. This was slightly lower than seen in the previous fortnight where rates were 5 and 3 cases per 1000 consultations respectively. For the same reporting period in 2016, ILI rates were lower at 2 and 3 cases per 1000 consultations for weeks 47 and 48 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 November, 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.
Influenza-like illness (ILI) surveillance:
ILI surveillance: 14 patients with influenza-like illness consulted sentinel general practices in 20 DHBs. The monthly ILI incidence was 3.4 per 100 000 patient population.
ICU surveillance: During November, there were 30 cases admitted to ICU. Since the 2 January 2017, there have been a total of 357 ICU cases.
For more information: NZ Flu Surveillance
Page first published: 22 March 2017
Page updated: 18 December 2017