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 (flu@health.gov.au) or contact the Department of Health switchboard on 02 6289 1555 or 1800 020 103.

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