Australian Influenza Surveillance Report No 05 – 16 August to 29 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: 10 September 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 05 - 16 August to 29 August 2014

  • Across most jurisdictions, seasonal influenza activity appears to have peaked in recent weeks with the exception of South Australia and the Northern Territory where activity continues to rise.
  • As at 29 August 2014, there have been 42,354 cases of laboratory confirmed influenza reported, with 12,279 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 virus type.
  • The influenza vaccine is likely to provide good coverage against the currently circulating viruses.
  • The rate of influenza associated hospitalisations has remained stable over the past fortnight, with around 11% of cases admitted directly to ICU. The majority of hospital admissions have been associated influenza A infections and the median age of cases is 45 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 has continued to increase in the southern hemisphere and has remained low elsewhere.

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