Australian Influenza Surveillance Report - No 04 - fortnight ending 22 May 2022

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: 27 May 2022

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 No 04- fortnight ending 22 May 2022

Key Messages

It is important to note that due to the COVID-19 epidemic in Australia, data reported from the various influenza surveillance systems may not represent an accurate reflection of influenza activity. Results should be interpreted with caution, especially where comparisons are made to previous influenza seasons. Interpretation of 2020 influenza activity data should take into account, but are not limited to, the impact of social distancing measures, likely changes in health seeking behaviour of the community including access to alternative streams of acute respiratory infection specific health services, and focussed testing for COVID-19 response activities. Current COVID-19 related public health measures and the community’s adherence to public health messages are also likely having an effect on transmission of acute respiratory infections, including influenza.

Activity

  • Influenza-like-illness (ILI) activity in the community this year has increased since March 2022.
  • In the year to date in 2022, there have been 38,743 notifications reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) in Australia, of which 26,193 notifications had a diagnosis date this fortnight—more than three times the notifications in the previous fortnight.
  • From mid-April 2022, the weekly number of notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza reported in Australia has exceeded the 5 year average.

Severity

  • In the year to date, of the 38,743 notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza, three influenza-associated deaths have been notified to the NNDSS.
  • Since commencement of seasonal surveillance in April 2022, there have been 368 hospital admissions due to influenza reported across sentinel hospitals sites, of which 7.6% were admitted directly to ICU.

Impact

  • There is no indication of the potential impact of the 2022 season on society at this time.

At-risk populations

  • In 2022 to date, people aged 5–19 years, adults aged 20–24 years, and children aged younger than 5 years have the highest notification rates.

Virology

  • To date, 98.7% of notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza reported to the NNDSS were influenza A, of which 94.2% were influenza A(unsubtyped), 1.2% were influenza A(H1N1), and 4.7% were influenza A(H3N2). Influenza B accounted for 0.1% of notifications, less than 0.1% were A&B co-infections, and 1.2% were untyped.

Vaccine match and effectiveness

  • Of the 623 samples referred to the WHOCC to date, all influenza A(H1N1) and 94.5% of influenza A(H3N2) samples were characterised as antigenically similar to the corresponding vaccine components, while the influenza B/Victoria sample was characterised as antigenically dissimilar.
  • It is too early to assess vaccine match and effectiveness for this season.

Full Report

top of page

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.

top of page