This is the sixth monthly report of the 2013/14 influenza season. This report provides an update on influenza and other seasonal respiratory pathogen activity to the week ending 16 March 2014. For this season, we will provide detailed influenza update reports on a monthly basis with bulletin style weekly updates in the weeks in between.
This report contains summary epidemiological information on influenza-like illness (ILI) and acute respiratory illness (ARI) activity, its severity and impact in the community and secondary care settings, and estimation of vaccine uptake.
The GP consultation rate for influenza-like illness (ILI) and the threshold for normal seasonal activity have been calculated using a new method this season which the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is recommending should be used across the EU. Please refer to the technical document for further information.
Clinical influenza activity fluctuated over the last four weeks but remained below the threshold for normal seasonal activity overall. Virological influenza activity as reported through sentinel and non-sentinel sources increased.
Since week 40 2013, a total of 57 laboratory confirmed influenza infections requiring intensive care management (ICU cases) have been reported to HPS (51 A(H1N1)pdm09, one A(H3N2) and five A(not subtyped)).
The levels of non-influenza seasonal pathogens, reported through the GP sentinel scheme and non-sentinel sources (ECOSS), were low, and fluctuated between the weeks 8 and 11 2014.
A guidance document has been issued by HPS with recommendations for the antiviral treatment and prophylaxis of influenza for the season 2013-14.
Influenza clinical activity is still low overall, however, due to an increase in virological activity and an increasing number of severe cases of influenza, there is now evidence of significant community circulation of influenza. A CMO letter, recommending that antivirals can be used in primary care where clinically appropriate, was issued on the 17th of February 2014 and can be accessed at: http://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/cmo/CMO(2014)05.pdf