Australian Influenza Surveillance Report No 04 – 02 August to 15 August 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: 22 August 2014

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 04 - 02 August to 15 August 2014

  • Across all jurisdictions, seasonal influenza activity has continued to increase, with New South Wales and Queensland reporting the highest levels of activity.
  • As at 15 August 2014, there have been 29,155 cases of laboratory confirmed influenza reported, with 10,410 notifications occurring during the report fortnight.
  • Nationally influenza A is the predominant influenza virus type. Of those viruses where subtyping data are available, A(H1N1)pdm09 remains the predominant influenza virus type in most jurisdictions. In New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, influenza A(H3N2) is the most common subtype and in Western Australia the proportion of A(H3N2) has continued to increase in recent weeks.
  • The influenza vaccine is likely to provide good coverage against the currently circulating viruses.
  • The rate of influenza associated hospitalisations has dropped slightly over the past fortnight, with around 10% of cases admitted directly to ICU. The majority of hospital admissions have been associated influenza A infections and the median age of cases is 42 years.
  • The severity of the 2014 influenza season appears to be moderate across most jurisdictions. However, more severe activity is noted in NSW, where influenza A(H3N2) is circulating at higher levels and affecting people in older age-groups, which has led to a substantial number of outbreaks in aged care facilities.
  • The WHO has reported that globally influenza activity remains low. Following the recent northern hemisphere season, influenza activity has returned to inter-seasonal levels across most of these regions. In the southern hemisphere, there has been a gradual increase of influenza activity.

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