This report provides an update on influenza and other seasonal respiratory pathogen activity to the week ending 15 March 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 and virological influenza activity levels decreased overall but there is continued evidence of community circulation of influenza. Influenza B activity decreased slightly in week 11 following an increase between weeks 8 and 10 2015.
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
An updated 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).
No laboratory confirmed influenza cases with severe infection requiring intensive care management (ICU cases) were reported to HPS within the last week. Five new closed setting outbreaks of acute respiratory infection were reported to HPS (3 influenza A(not subtyped, 1 Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and 1 pathogen unknown)).
Over the past four weeks, the levels of non-influenza respiratory pathogens reported through sentinel sources were stable and in line with expected seasonal levels with the exception of parainfluenza, levels of which increased and were above expected seasonal levels in week 11.
From week 8 to week 11 2015, the levels of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, parainfluenza 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, adenovirus and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) decreased but were above seasonally expected levels for at least one of these four weeks.