Influenza Activity Surveillance 2020
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 18,859 laboratory confirmed notifications of Influenza in Australia for 2020, at the start of 30 March.
- ACT: 176
- NSW: 6,562
- NT: 245
- QLD: 5,611
- SA: 1,407
- TAS: 147
- VIC: 3,629
- WA: 1,082
For more national data: National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System
February Report 2020
- Influenza activity was high for this time of year but has decreased throughout the month.
- Influenza A(H1N1) remained the predominant circulating influenza strain.
- Respiratory presentations to NSW emergency departments increased and were above the historical range for this time of year.
- Influenza activity decreased during February and remained within inter-seasonal levels.
- Influenza A strains, particularly influenza A (H1N1), remained predominant over influenza B strains, with an overall influenza percent positive rate of 6.7%.
- Respiratory testing was increased overall, likely reflecting the on-going COVID-19 outbreak.
- Influenza activity was highest in the Northern Sydney, Central Coast and Illawarra Shoalhaven local health districts (LHD); activity decreased across the majority of health districts.
- Presentations to emergency departments for respiratory illnesses and influenza-like illness were above the usual historical ranges for this time of year.
- Three influenza outbreaks were reported from residential aged care facilities, all caused by influenza A.
For more information: NSW Health – Infectious Diseases Alert
15 – 21 March 2020
One hundred and fifty-four cases of influenza were reported this week with 119 cases being characterised as influenza A and 35 as influenza B. Cases comprised of 69 males and 86 females, with a median age of 40 years. There have been 1,341 cases of influenza notified year-to-date, compared with 2,560 cases reported for the same period last year.
For more information: Communicable Diseases Control Branch
Week ending 22 March 2020
Overview of the 2020 influenza season so far:
VicSPIN influenza surveillance has commenced early this year with a smaller cohort of GPs contributing data due to changes in clinical practice in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some GPs have also elected not to commence until the official start of the influenza season at the end of April.
Influenza-like illness (ILI) is within the average threshold for the first reporting week of 2020 with 9.9 ILIs per 1000 patients seen.
The number of notified cases of laboratory confirmed influenza is 0.9 times the number notified by the same time in 2019. The majority of notified cases over the season have been type A (88%), and type A cases are older than type B cases.
For more information: Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory or Victorian State Health Department
Week ending 22 March 2020
INFLUENZA AND INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESSES (ILI)
- Indicators of influenza activity remain at interseasonal levels.
- ILI activity at sentinel GPs remained low this week. One sample was submitted by sentinel GPs this week, and it tested negative for influenza and COVID-19.
- ILI presentations at sentinel EDs were higher than expected for this time of year, possibly due to community concern over COVID-19.
- Influenza notifications and PathWest test percent positivity were lower than levels usually reported at this time of year.
- Influenza B accounted for 63% influenza cases at PathWest in the past week. Influenza A accounted for 37% comprising 12% A/H1, 12% A/H3 and 12% untyped.
- Overall non-influenza activity fell this week, likely due to decreased testing of COVID-19 requests for other respiratory viruses.
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 February – 8 March 2020
- Influenza-like-illness levels are increasing
- 4 Cases of influenza have been detected in this reporting period:
4 x Influenza A
0 x Influenza B
- 7% Influenza positivity during the reporting period.
- 17 Cases of influenza have been detected this year:
15 x Influenza A
2 x Influenza B
Reports were received from 240 reporters from 8 states and territories during the reporting period. During weeks 09 and 10 reporters saw a total of 37,009 patients.
Nationally, ILI notifications significantly increased during the period with 108 notifications being reported in weeks 09—10. ILI rates reported in this period increased to 3 and 5 cases per 1000 consultations (weighted) respectively. This was higher than the previous fortnight where rates were 3 cases per 1000 consultations in weeks 07 and 08. For the same reporting period in 2019, ILI rates were smaller at 3 and 2 cases per 1000 consultations for weeks 09 and 10 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 22 March 2020
This week influenza-like illness activity is low.
(Data received up to 09:00 AM, Thursday 26 March)
Influenza-like illness activity:
Fever and cough: 1.5% this week (flu-like illness activity is low)
Influenza-like illness severity:
41% of participants with fever and cough sought medical advice this week
54,207 participants (52,780 last week)
For more information, or to enrol: Flu Tracking
Reporting has not yet commenced for 2020
For more information: NZ Flu Surveillance