Influenza Activity Surveillance 2021
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This report provides a summary of influenza surveillance data collected from around Australia and New Zealand. Regional reporting in some areas ceases when influenza 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.
National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS)
There have been a total of 343 laboratory confirmed notifications of Influenza in Australia for 2021, as at 16 June 2021.
- ACT: 3
- NSW: 37
- NT: 16
- QLD: 180
- SA: 14
- TAS: 14
- VIC: 61
- WA: 18
For more national data: National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS)
New South Wales
The weekly flu report has currently been suspended due to the COVID response, however weekly influenza information is available in the COVID-19 weekly surveillance report.
For more information: NSW Health – Infectious Diseases Alert
2021 Influenza reporting has not yet commenced in Queensland.
For more information: QLD Health – Preventable Diseases
Week 30 May to 5 June 2021
Four cases of influenza were reported this week in two males and two females, with a median age of 27 years. There have been 16 cases of influenza notified year-to-date, compared with 1,544 cases reported for the same period last year.
For more information: Communicable Diseases Control Branch
Week ending 6 June 2021
Number of laboratory confirmed flu notifications for this week: 0
Total confirmed influenza cases YTD: 13 [5 x influenza A and 8 x influenza B]
For more information: Communicable Diseases Prevention – FluTAS
Week ending 6 June 2021
Influenza-like illness (ILI) is below the average activity threshold.
The total ILI proportion measured by VicSPIN is 1.6 ILIs per 1000 patients seen.
The number of notified cases of laboratory confirmed influenza is 99% lower than the number notified by the same time in 2020.
The majority of notified cases over the season have been type A (86%).
Five swabs were received from VicSPIN this week, of which one tested positive for influenza type C.
For more information: Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory or Victorian State Health Department
Week ending 6 June 2021
Please note that the influenza and ILI surveillance systems in WA have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, respiratory viral activity should be interpreted with caution and take into account the effects of changes in health seeking behaviour including accessing alternate health services such as telehealth, focused testing for COVID-19 at COVID-19 clinics or specific acute respiratory infection clinics and the impact of physical distancing measures.
INFLUENZA AND INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESSES (ILI)
ndicators of influenza activity remain below interseasonal levels.
ILI presentations at Emergency Departments (EDs) increased in the past week and ILI activity at sentinel General Practices (GPs) were in the lower range of values usually seen at this time of year.
There were no PCR positive influenza samples reported by PathWest in the past week.
Parainfluenza 1-3 detections in the past week remained higher than values usually seen at this time of year and were influenced by increased testing.
For more information: WA Virus WAtch
Australian Sentinel Practices Research Network (ASPREN)
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.
10 – 23 May 2021
- Influenza-like-illness levels remain steady below baseline levels.
- Cases of influenza have been detected in this reporting period:
- 0 x Influenza A
- 0 x Influenza B
Reports were received from 243 reporters from 8 states and territories during the reporting period. During weeks 19 and 20 reporters saw a total of 45,226 patients.
Nationally, ILI notifications significantly increased during the period with 93 notifications being reported in weeks 19—20. ILI rates reported in this period increased to 2 cases per 1000 consultations (weighted). This was slightly higher than the previous fortnight where rates were 1 case per 1000 consultations in weeks 17 and 18. For the same reporting period in 2020, ILI rates were slightly lower at 1 case per 1000 consultations for weeks 19 and 20.
(Baseline ILL < 3 & 4 in 1000 consultations, Normal 4< ILL rate <24).
For more information: ASPREN
FluTracking is an 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 6 June 2021
This week influenza-like illness activity is low.
(Data received up to 9:00am, Thursday 10 June)
Influenza-like illness activity:
1% this week (flu-like illness activity is low)
Influenza-like illness activity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants:
1.5% this week: flu-like illness activity is low
Influenza-like illness severity:
48.8% of participants with fever and cough sought medical advice this week
66,727 participants (66,401 last week)
Overall vaccination rates for participants:
For more information, or to enrol: Flu Tracking
Week ending 21 May 2021
ILI and acute respiratory infection (ARI) outbreaks reported to EpiSurv
Public Health Units routinely investigate respiratory outbreaks, including laboratory testing of a sample of cases. In the week ending 21 May 2021, there were no outbreaks of influenza-like illness, acute respiratory infections or COVID-19 reported.
HealthLine and HealthStat
ILI-related HealthLine call trends have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 response. People experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness are advised to call HealthLine for assessment and advice. In 2020, general practice ILI consultations reported through HealthStat practices were also heavily impacted by the COVID-19 response with changes in patient flow and health seeking behaviour. These impacts are likely to continue into the 2021 ILI season as the COVID-19 response continues. This limits interpretability for ILI surveillance.
In 2020, calls to HealthLine and ILI consultation rates reported by HealthStat increased in line with increasing COVID-19 notifications and changes in alert levels and restrictions.
ILI-related call rates to HealthLine increased in mid-February 2021 following the detection of COVID-19 in the community in Auckland, but call rates have since stabilised and are currently at a similar rate to the same period in previous years.
In contrast, ILI consultation rates reported by HealthStat, overall have been lower than the weekly rates seen at this time in 2020, and are following a similar trend to the historical rates.
For more information: NZ Flu Surveillance