This report provides an update on influenza and other seasonal respiratory pathogen activity to the week ending 18 January 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 is increasing and there is 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.
Eight 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), 4 influenza A(not subtyped) and one influenza type B). Five new outbreaks of acute respiratory infection were reported to HPS in week 3 2015 (3 outbreaks of influenza A(not subtyped), 1 outbreak of rhinovirus and 1 outbreak of pathogen unknown).
Over the past four weeks, the levels of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and rhinovirus reported from non-sentinel sources (ECOSS) showed evidence of decline. The levels of parainfluenza, coronavirus and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MPN) were stable and in line with expected seasonal levels. The levels of adenovirus and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) increased and were above seasonally expected levels. The levels of non-influenza pathogens reported through sentinel sources remained stable and within expected levels for this time of the year.