Australian Influenza Surveillance Report No 01 – 21 June to 04 July 2014

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 and emergency departments; ILI-related call centre calls and community level surveys; and sentinel laboratory testing results.

Page last updated: 12 September 2013

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, with updates also provided during the season. A more in-depth end-of-season report is also published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence journal.

Australian Influenza Surveillance Report No 01 - 21 June to 04 July 2014

  • Nationally influenza activity has started to increase, with almost all jurisdictions reporting increased activity indicating that the 2014 influenza season has begun.
  • The 2014 seasonal rise in notifications appears to have started in mid-June 2014.
  • As at 4 July 2014, there have been 8,757 cases of laboratory confirmed influenza reported, with 1,440 notifications occurring during the most recent fortnight.
  • Nationally influenza A is the predominant influenza virus type. Of those viruses where subtyping data are available, A(H1N1)pdm09 is most common. This trend is consistent across all jurisdictions, except in New South Wales where influenza A(H3N2) is circulating at higher levels.
  • The rate of influenza associated hospitalisations has started to increase over the past fortnight, with around 12% of cases admitted directly to ICU. The majority of hospital admissions have been associated influenza A infections and the median age of cases is 46 years.
  • There is no indication of the potential severity of the season.
  • Influenza virus strains currently circulating within Australia are similar to the strains included in the 2014 vaccine.
  • The WHO has reported that globally influenza activity is low. Following the recent northern hemisphere season, influenza activity has either returned to or is approaching inter-seasonal levels across most of these regions. In China, influenza activity increased slightly in the southern region and was mostly due to influenza A(H3N2) viruses. In the southern hemisphere, influenza activity was still low.
  • Following two waves of avian influenza A(H7N9) infections in humans, relatively few cases are currently being reported. All of the cases have been acquired in China, with a small number exported to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Currently there is no evidence to support sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus. Most human infections are associated with exposure to infected live poultry or contaminated environments.

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