This report provides an update on influenza and other seasonal respiratory pathogen activity to the week ending 15 February 2015. For this season, we will provide detailed influenza update reports on a four-weekly 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, clinical influenza activity is increasing and the level of GP consultation rates increased above the threshold for normal seasonal activity, virological influenza activity remains high and there is continued evidence of increased 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.
Ten laboratory confirmed influenza cases with severe infection requiring intensive care management (ICU cases) were reported to HPS within the last week (3 influenza A(H3), 6 influenza A(not subtyped) and one influenza type B). Five new outbreaks of acute respiratory infection were reported to HPS in week 7 2015 (2 outbreaks of influenza A(not subtyped) and 3 outbreaks of pathogen unknown).
From week 4 to week 7 2015, the levels of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MPN) reported through non-sentinel sources (ECOSS) remained stable and within expected levels for this time of the year. The levels of coronavirus parainfluenza, human metapneumovirus (hMPV) and adenovirus were increased above seasonally expected levels for at least one of these four weeks (week 4 to 7). The levels of non-influenza respiratory pathogens reported through sentinel sources were stable and in line with expected seasonal levels with the exception of adenovirus, levels of which increased in week 7 and were above the seasonal threshold.