Influenza Activity Surveillance 2019
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 93,768 laboratory confirmed notifications of Influenza in Australia for 2019, at the start of 20 June.
- ACT: 957
- NSW: 25,872
- NT: 899
- QLD: 16,883
- SA: 18,467
- TAS: 1,157
- VIC: 19,436
- WA: 10,097
For more national data: National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System
Week ending 9 June 2019
Summary for this reporting week:
Influenza activity continued to be high across all NSW local health districts, consistent with the annual influenza season. There is no indication that influenza activity has peaked.
Respiratory presentations to NSW emergency departments increased and remained high in most districts, but were within the usual range for influenza seasons overall.
Influenza A strains predominated but influenza B strain activity is also increasing.
For more information: NSW Health – Infectious Diseases Alert
Week ending 9 June 2019
YTD positive tests for influenza: 14,409
Influenza A: 12,954 [A(H1N1) 708; A(H3N2) 674; subtype unavailable 11,572]
Influenza B: 1,455 [Victoria 35; Yamagata 13; Lineage Unavailable 1,407]
YTD hospitalisations: 1,097
YTD percentage of tests positive: 13.4%
For more information: QLD Health – Preventable Diseases
2 – 8 June 2019
From 1 January to 8 June 2019, there were 17,677 notifications of influenza virus infection (noting that there is currently an administrative backlog for data entry of cases) reported to the Communicable Disease Control Branch, compared to 1,445 cases reported for the same period last year.
Of these notifications:
- 9,893 were in females and 7,784 were in males
- The age range is <1 – 105 years, with a median age of 34 years
- 16,942 cases (96%) were due to influenza A and 735 cases (4%) were due to influenza B virus
- 1,760 cases (10%) were hospital inpatients
- Forty cases (0.2%) were reported to have died from influenza virus infection (age range 15-100 years)
For more information: Communicable Diseases Control Branch
Week ending 16 June 2019
Overview: The 2019 influenza season so far
Influenza-like illness activity remains within the average threshold, early in the season.
The number of notified cases of laboratory confirmed influenza is now over seven times higher than at the same time in 2018.
The majority of notified cases are type A (89%) and Type A cases are older than notified type B cases; 32% of type B cases are aged less than 10 years compared to 20% of type A cases, and 17% of type A cases are aged 65 years and older compared to 4% of type B cases.
Thirty-nine swabs were received from VicSPIN this week, of which 38% were positive for influenza.
For more information: Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory or Victorian State Health Department
Week ending 9 June 2019
INFLUENZA AND INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESSES (ILI)
Influenza activity continued to increase this week, and is currently above levels usually reported at the peak of the influenza season in WA.
ILI activity at sentinel GPs and EDs remains well above levels normally reported during influenza season.
PathWest influenza detections and test percent positivity were also above levels usually seen at this time of year.
Influenza A/H3N2 comprised the largest proportion of influenza detections at Pathwest this week (84%) followed by influenza B (15%).
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 May – 2 June 2019
- Influenza-like-illness levels are increasing
- 115 cases of influenza have been detected in this reporting period: 95 x Influenza A and 20 x Influenza B
- 30% Influenza positivity during the reporting period.
- 344 Cases of influenza have been detected this year: 298 x Influenza A and 46 x Influenza B
Reports were received from 328 reporters from 8 states and territories during the reporting period. During weeks 21 and 22 reporters saw a total of 53,213 patients.
Nationally, ILI notifications significantly increased during the period with 678 notifications being reported in weeks 21—22. ILI rates reported in this period slightly increased to 12 cases per 1000 consultations (weighted) in weeks 21 and 22. This was higher than the previous fortnight where rates were 8 and 9 cases per 1000 consultations. For the same reporting period in 2018, ILI rates were lower at 4 cases 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 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 9 June 2019Number of participants: 39,599Influenza-like illness Severity:
Low levels of influenza-like illness activity.
Flu Symptom Activity:
Fever, cough & time off work or normal duties: 1.6% this week (higher than 5 year average)
Flu Symptom Activity by vaccination status:
0.4% higher fever and cough in unvaccinated group this week
Flu symptom Severity:
28.7% of participants with fever and cough sought medical advice this week
Vaccination rates: 71.4% overall.
For more information, or to enrol: Flu Tracking
Week ending 16 June 2019
Influenza-like illness (ILI) activity in New Zealand is above the seasonal baseline threshold. Since last week there has been a significant increase. A higher proportion of illness is due to influenza viruses than usual at this time of year. Over 50% of samples tested in GPs and hospitals this year are influenza positive, which is one of the highest positivity rates for this period in recent years. Currently, A(H3N2) and B/Victoria viruses are circulating at similar levels. The 2019 seasonal influenza vaccine strains remain a good match to influenza viruses detected in New Zealand.
Community influenza-like illness (ILI) activity is above the seasonal baseline threshold with a significant increase in ILI activity since last week.
Indicators of severity remain low. Severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) surveillance started on April 29th, but surveillance in intensive care units (ICU) for very severe or unusual presentations is year round. Activity in ICU is low. SARI activity is still below seasonal baseline levels.
For more information: NZ Flu Surveillance