This report provides an update on influenza and other seasonal respiratory pathogen activity for the week ending 01 March 2015. 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 vaccine uptake estimates.
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.
In Scotland, both clinical and virological influenza activity levels showed a small reduction in activity but there is continued evidence of community circulation of influenza.
A CMO letter, recommending that antivirals can be used in primary care where clinically appropriate, was issued on the 18th of December 2014 and can be accessed at: http://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/cmo/CMO(2014)29.pdf
A guidance document has been issued by HPS with recommendations for the antiviral treatment and prophylaxis of influenza for the season 2014-15 (version 2.0 published on 19 February 2015).
Nine laboratory confirmed influenza cases with severe infection requiring intensive care management (ICU cases) were reported to HPS within the last week (5 influenza A(not subtyped), 3 influenza A(H3) and 1 influenza type B). The majority of these were retrospective reports. Two new outbreaks of acute respiratory infection were reported to HPS (2 influenza A(not subtyped)).
The levels of seasonal respiratory pathogens (respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MPN) reported through non-sentinel sources (ECOSS) were stable and within expected levels with the exception of coronavirus, parainfluenza, adenovirus and human metapneumovirus (hMPV), levels of which were increased and above expected seasonal levels. The levels of seasonal respiratory pathogens reported through sentinel sources were stable and within expected seasonal levels.