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 47,783 laboratory confirmed notifications of Influenza in Australia for 2018, at the start of 12 November.
- ACT: 432
- NSW: 15,646
- NT: 223
- QLD: 12,656
- SA: 4,447
- TAS: 364
- VIC: 8,847
- WA: 5,168
For more national data:
Report for October 2018
Influenza activity was low and decreasing throughout October. Influenza A was circulating at higher levels than influenza B.
The rate of influenza like illness (ILI) presentations to selected emergency departments was low and consistent with inter-seasonal activity.
For more information: NSW Health – Infectious Diseases Alert
Week ending 4 November 2018
Recent week onset (29 October to 4 November) there were 247 notifications.
228 (92%) were typed as influenza A, and 19 (8%) as influenza B.
Eight influenza A have been subtyped: three (37%) as A(H1N1)pdm09, and five (63%) as A(H3N2).
Subtype is unavailable for 220 influenza A cases.
YTD 2018 (1 January to 4 November) there have been 12,362 notifications.
9,580 (77%) were typed as influenza A, and 2,782 (23%) as influenza B.
1,593 influenza A have been subtyped: 927 (58%) were A(H1N1)pdm09, and 666 (42%) were A(H3N2).
Subtype is unavailable for 7,987 influenza A cases.
Lineage is available for 114 influenza B viruses: 103 (90%) were B/Yamagata, 11 (10%) were B/Victoria.
Notification counts, and the percentage of tests positive (public laboratory system only) show a sustained decrease in recent weeks.
The Queensland season peaked in week 36 (week beginning 3 September) with a total of 687 notifications.
The YTD count is 0.5 times the five year mean and 0.2 times the count for the same period in 2017.
The statewide percentage of positive tests (public laboratories) in the most recent week is currently 6.6%.
Overall notifications were higher in females (53%) than males (47%).
Median age was 39 years, with a range of 6 days to 103 years.
For more information: QLD Health – Preventable Diseases
21 – 27 October 2018
One-hundred and sixty-nine cases of influenza were reported this week with 114 cases being characterised as influenza A and 55 cases being characterised as Influenza B. Cases comprised of 82 males and 87 females, with a median age of 32 years.
From 1 January to 27 October 2018, there were 4,085 notifications of influenza reported to the Communicable Disease Control Branch, compared to 27,118 reported for the same period last year.
Of these notifications:
- 2170 were in females and 1915 were in males
- the age range is 0 – 100 years, with a median age of 36 years
- 2,771 cases (68%) were due to influenza A and 1,314 cases (32%) were due to influenza B
- 175 cases (4%) were reported to have required hospital admission
- six cases (0.14%) were reported to have died from influenza (four males and two females, median age 78 years)
For more information: Communicable Diseases Control Branch
This surveillance report describes influenza activity in Tasmania during the period 1 January to 30 September 2018.
September 2018 Update
- There was a small increase in influenza activity during September 2018.
- Influenza activity remains significantly lower than recent years
- Rhinovirus and Parainfluenza were the most common respiratory viruses detected in patients presenting with influenza-like-illness (ILI) to the RHH during September 2018.
- There have been no outbreaks of influenza notified in Tasmania during January to September 2018.
There were 80 notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza during September 2018. This was substantially lower than the five-year August average (495 notifications). Weekly influenza notifications increased during September with 26 notifications during the final week ending Sunday 30 September. This was the highest weekly count since the start of 2018. The numbers of weekly influenza notifications during September 2018 were significantly lower than the September activity of recent influenza seasons.
No outbreaks of influenza were notified during January to September 2018.
From 1 January to 30 September 2018 there were 260 notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza.
The majority of notifications (139) were in the southern region of Tasmania. There were 65 notifications for residents of the North and 55 for the North-West. One overseas visitor was diagnosed with influenza in Tasmania during this period.
During September 2018 an average of 176 PCR tests for influenza were conducted per week. This was an increase on the testing conducted during August (average 160 tests per week). For comparison, an average of 756 PCR tests were conducted per week during September 2017; the peak period of the 2017 influenza season.
The weekly proportion of tests positive for influenza continued to increase, from three per cent in August to 14 per cent in September 2018.
For more information: Communicable Diseases Prevention – FluTAS
Week ending 28 October 2018
Influenza-like illness activity decreased further within the baseline threshold.
The number of notified cases of laboratory confirmed influenza continues to decrease after peaking two weeks ago. The number of laboratory confirmed influenza cases processed to date in 2018 is 82% lower than for the same time in 2017.
Three swabs were received from VicSPIN this week, none were positive for influenza.
For more information: Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory
Week ending 4 November 2018
INFLUENZA AND INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESSES (ILI)
Influenza notifications continued to fall this week. ILI activity reported by sentinel sites also remained low this week.
Influenza notifications have remained low in 2018, and are approaching inter-seasonal levels.
ILI presentations at sentinel GPs and EDs decreased this week.
PathWest influenza detections and percent positivity fell this week.
Influenza A/H1N1 was the most common (40%) sub-type detected by PathWest this week, with low levels of influenza A/H3N2 and influenza B reported.
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.
24 September – 7 October 2018
Influenza-like-illness levels are decreasing.
- 30 cases of influenza have been detected in this reporting period: 28 x Influenza A; 2 x Influenza B
- 29% Influenza positivity during the reporting period
- 194 cases of influenza have been detected this year: 158 x Influenza A; 36 x Influenza B
Reports were received from 328 reporters from 8 states and territories during the reporting period. During weeks 39 and 40 reporters saw a total of 39,824 patients.
Nationally, ILI notifications decreased during the period with 207 notifications being reported in weeks 39—40. ILI rates reported in this period decreased to 5 cases per 1000 consultations (weighted) in weeks 39 and 40. This was lower than the previous fortnight where rates were 7 and 6 cases per 1000 consultations. For the same reporting period in 2017, ILI rates were higher at 14 and 10 cases per 1000 consultations for weeks 39 and 40 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 21 October 2018
Low levels of influenza-like illness activity.
There were 33,221 participants from across Australia. (Data received up to 09:00 AM, Thursday 25 October)
- Flu Symptom Activity: low levels of flu-like symptoms: Fever, cough & time off: 0.8%
- Flu symptom Severity: 32.2% participants sought medical advice
- Flu Symptom Activity by vaccination status: 0.2% higher fever and cough in unvaccinated group
- Flu activity by State/Territory and Age Group: illness highest in children
- 69.1% vaccination rate for those who participated this week.
For more information, or to enrol: Flu Tracking
Week ending 28 October 2018
This last weekly respiratory virus surveillance update for 2018 confirms that the annual season has ended. This dashboard and the intelligence report will be updated monthly until next year’s seasonal monitoring starts in May 2019 unless the out of season surveillance in sentinel GPs and ICUs identifies concerns.
In the past week, indicators of community influenza-like illness (ILI) activity remained similar to the previous week except for a significant but small increase in Healthline ILI calls.
Severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) admissions to sentinel hospitals in Auckland and Counties Manukau DHBs decreased slightly compared to the prior week after peaking weeks ago. Although SARI hospitalisations are low compared to previous years, influenza-positive SARI hospital and ICU admission rates this season are comparable to those from other Flu A(H1N1) predominant seasons.
For more information: NZ Flu Surveillance