Australian Influenza Surveillance Report - 2018 National Influenza Season Summary

The Australian Influenza Surveillance Report and Activity Updates are compiled from a number of data sources, which are used to monitor influenza activity and severity in the community. These data sources include laboratory-confirmed notifications to NNDSS; influenza associated hospitalisations; sentinel influenza-like illness (ILI) reporting from general practitioners; ILI-related community level surveys; and sentinel laboratory testing results.

Page last updated: 14 December 2018

The Australian Influenza Surveillance Report is published on a fortnightly basis during the influenza season, typically between May and October. Influenza activity updates will be published outside of the seasonal period.

Australian Influenza Surveillance Report - 2018 Influenza Season in Australia

Key Messages

  • Activity – While there was some geographic variation across Australia, in general the 2018 influenza season saw very low levels of activity compared to recent years. There was a gradual start to the season, with a short, delayed peak.
  • Impact –The impact of circulating influenza on society, as measured through the proportion of people with influenza-like illness (ILI) taking time off work, and the burden placed on hospitals with people admitted with influenza, was low.
  • Severity –Clinical severity for the 2018 season, as measured through the proportion of patients admitted directly to intensive care unit (ICU), and deaths attributed to influenza, was moderate.
  • Virology –Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 predominated nationally, accounting for an estimated 53% of notified laboratory confirmed cases of influenza for the year to date.
  • At-risk populations: Children aged less than 10 years appear were more commonly infected with influenza; however the severity of illness in this population was on par with other age-groups.
  • Vaccine effectiveness: Based on preliminary data, vaccinated individuals were 68% less likely to present to a general practitioner (GP) and 58% less likely to be hospitalised due to influenza, when compared to unvaccinated individuals.

Full Report

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Previous Reports and Updates

Annual Reports

Accessibility Issues

Should you encounter issues in accessing the information contained either on this webpage or within the downloadable full reports please email flu ( or contact the Department of Health switchboard on 02 6289 1555 or 1800 020 103.

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