Influenza Activity Surveillance 2018
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 many 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 15,496 laboratory confirmed notifications of Influenza in Australia for 2018, at the start of 16 July.
- ACT: 168
- NSW: 5,148
- NT: 123
- QLD: 5,446
- SA: 1,482
- TAS: 128
- VIC: 2,669
- WA: 1,857
For more national data:
Week ending 8 July 2018
Influenza activity continued to be generally low across NSW local health districts.
Respiratory presentations to NSW emergency departments are trending upwards.
Influenza activity continues to increase but remains below the seasonal threshold; the influenza A (H1N1) strain is predominating.
In this reporting week:
Hospital surveillance – Respiratory presentations to EDs and admissions are trending upwards; ILI presentations to ED remained below the seasonal threshold.
Laboratory surveillance – the influenza laboratory test positive rate was higher at 3.9% but below the season threshold; influenza A remains more common, especially the A(H1N1) strain.
Community surveillance – influenza activity remained low across all LHDs but was highest in Western Sydney LHD.
National surveillance – influenza activity was low nationally.
For more information: NSW Health – Infectious Diseases Alert
2 July to 8 July 2018
Recent week onset (2 July to 8 July) there were 160 notifications.
130 (81%) were typed as influenza A and 30 (19%) as influenza B.
• 13 influenza A have been subtyped: Nine (69%) as A (H1N1)pdm09, four (31%) as A (H3N2).
• Subtype is unavailable for 117 influenza A cases.
YTD 2018 (1 January to 8 July) there have been 5,269 notifications.
3,202 (61%) were typed as influenza A and 2,067 (39%) as influenza B
• 581 influenza A have been subtyped: 295 (51%)were A (H1N1)pdm09 and 286 (49%) were A(H3N2).
• Subtype is unavailable for 2,62 1influenza A cases.
• Lineage is available for 17 influenza B viruses: 16 (94%) were B/Yamagata, one (6%) was B/Victoria.
Notification counts and percentage of tests positive show fluctuations to week 12, followed by a decreasing trend and recent upward trend. Although the YTD count is 1.3 times the five year mean and 1.3 times the count for the same period in 2017, the overall pattern is consistent with low seasonal activity.
The statewide percentage of positive tests (public laboratories) in the most recent week was 5%.
Overall notifications were higher in females (54%) than males (46%).
Median age was 39 years, with a range of 6 days to 103 years.
For more information: QLD Health – Preventable Diseases
1 July – 7 July 2018
Thirty One cases of influenza were reported this week with 25 cases being characterised as influenza A and six as influenza B. Cases comprised of 16 males and 15 females, with a median age of 46 years.
From 1 January to 7 July 2018, there were 1,543 notifications of influenza reported to the Communicable Disease Control Branch, compared to 3,244 reported for the same period last year. Of these notifications:
- 826 were in females and 717 were in males.
- the age range of 0 – 100 years, with a median age of 44 years.
- 868 cases (56%) were due to influenza A and 675 cases (44%) were due to influenza B o 79 cases (5%) were reported to have required hospital admission.
- two cases (0.14%) were reported to have died from influenza (77 years, 80 years).
For more information: Communicable Diseases Control Branch
January to April 2018
The 2018 influenza season has not begun.
Other respiratory pathogens including Rhinovirus and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) appear to be the major contributors of influenza-like illness in the community.
No outbreaks of influenza have been reported in Tasmania.
From 1 January to 31 May 2018 there were 102 notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza. Subtyping was reported for 14 Influenza A results.
The majority of notifications (61) were in the southern region of Tasmania. There were 22 notifications for residents of the North and 18 for the North-West.
One overseas visitor was diagnosed with influenza in Tasmania during this period.
Week ending 8 July 2018
Influenza-like illness surveillance indicates activity is variable but still within baseline thresholds.
A total of 2,659 cases of laboratory confirmed influenza have been processed so far in 2018, compared with 3,561.
in 2017, a 25% decrease. Cases notified year-to-date have been type A (56%) and type B (44%). Type A cases had a median age of 42 years and type B cases median age 47 years.
Five swabs were received from VicSPIN this week none of which were positive for influenza. Picornavirus remains he most commonly detected respiratory virus.
For more information: Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory
Week ending 17 June 2018
INFLUENZA AND INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESSES (ILI)
Influenza and influenza-like illness activity is currently low although ILI activity has been increasing gradually over the past few weeks.
ILI presentations at sentinel GPs and EDs have increased this past week. Influenza notifications remained low this week whilst PathWest laboratory detections and percent positivity increased.
Influenza B and influenza A (both H1N1 and H3N2) viruses have been co-circulating at low levels over recent weeks, but detections in the past week were dominated (86%) by H1N1.
Overall and virus-specific non-influenza activity has been relatively stable over recent weeks, although the general trend has been upwards.
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.
4 June – 17 June 2018
Influenza-like-illlness levels remain steady below baseline levels.
2 cases of influenza have been detected in this reporting period. 2 x Influenza A. 0 x Influenza B.
3% Influenza positivity during the reporting period.
37 cases of influenza have been detected this year: 24 x Influenza A and 13 x Influenza B.
Syndromic Surveillance Reporting:
Reports were received from 326 reporters from 8 states and territories during the reporting period. During weeks 23 and 24 reporters saw a total of 45,356 patients.
Nationally, ILI notifications increased over the period with 166 notifications being reported in weeks 23—24. ILI rates reported in this period remained steady at 3 and 4 cases per 1000 consultations (weighted) in weeks 23 and 24. This was similar to the previous fortnight where rates were 4 cases per 1000 consultations. For the same reporting period in 2017, ILI rates were slightly higher 5 cases per 1000 consultations for weeks 23 and 24 respectively.
(Baseline ILL < 3 & 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 July 2018
Low levels of influenza-like illness activity.
This survey was sent on Monday, 09 July 2018 at 01:13 AM and by 09:00 AM, Wednesday 11 July we had received 32641 responses (33150 last week) from 19361 people responding for themselves and 13280 household members across Australia.
Across Australia, fever and cough was reported by 1.8% of vaccinated participants and 2.2% of unvaccinated participants. Fever, cough and absence from normal duties was reported by 1.1% of vaccinated participants and 1.4% of unvaccinated participants.
For participants this week, 22002/32641 (67.4 %) have received the seasonal vaccine so far. Of the 5573 participants who identified as working face-to-face with patients, 4610 (82.7%) have received the vaccine.
For more information, or to enrol: Flu Tracking
Week ending 8 July 2018
Flu and other respiratory virus activity is still unseasonably low but is starting to increase in NZ and in some parts of the Southern Hemisphere.We would expect influenza virus circulation in New Zealand to increase in the next few weeks. Rhinovirus is still the most commonly detected respiratory virus in the community and Adenovirus in hospitals.
Indicators of community respiratory virus activity were still at low levels last week. Healthline calls for ILI, which tend to represent younger ages, have steadily increasing over recent weeks. This fits with increasing virus detection including the flu and other respiratory viruses in GP visits.
Severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) admissions to sentinel hospitals in Auckland and Counties Manukau DHBs are low but are starting to increase. Mainly, non-influenza respiratory viruses are being detected in SARI surveillance.
For more information: NZ Flu Surveillance
Page published: 5 March 2018
Last updated: 16 July 2018