Australian Influenza Surveillance Report - No 13 - week ending 04 October 2020

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: 09 October 2020

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 13- week ending 04 October 2020

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 – Following a high start to the 2020 interseasonal period, currently, influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) activity are lower than average across all systems for this time of year. At the national level, notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza have substantially decreased since mid-March and remain low.
  • Impact – Given low case numbers of laboratory-confirmed notifications for influenza, it is likely that there is minimal impact on society due to influenza circulation in the 2020 season.
  • Severity – There is no indication of the potential severity of the 2020 season at this time. In the year to date, of the 21,187 notifications of laboratory confirmed influenza, 36 (0.17%) laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated deaths have been notified to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS).
  • Virology – In the year to date, the majority of nationally reported laboratory-confirmed influenza cases were influenza A (87.1%).
  • Vaccine match and effectiveness – Given low case numbers of influenza in 2020, it is currently difficult to assess vaccine match and effectiveness.

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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