This report provides an update on influenza and other seasonal respiratory pathogen activity for the week ending 18 May 2014. This is the last weekly report of the influenza season 2013/2014. Over the summer (weeks 21-39) an influenza update report will be published every 4 weeks unless influenza (or other viral respiratory pathogen) activity increases significantly.
This report contains summary epidemiological information on influenza-like illness (ILI), 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.
Whilst clinical and virological activities have decreased, severe cases of influenza continue to be reported suggesting community circulation of influenza is ongoing but at much lower levels.
In week 20, the levels of rhinovirus, reported through non-sentinel sources (ECOSS), decreased but remained above expected levels. The levels of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), coronavirus, adenovirus and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) decreased and remained within expected levels. The levels of parainfluenza virus and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MPN) remained stable and within expected levels.
In week 20, the levels of RSV, MPN, parainfluenza, rhinovirus, hMPV, coronavirus and adenovirus, reported through sentinel sources, remained stable and within the expected levels.
Since week 40 2013, a total of 91 ICU cases have been reported to HPS (83 A(H1N1)pdm09, five A(H3N2) and three A(not subtyped)).
As community circulation of influenza is now low, GP antiviral prescribing in primary care can now be discontinued. However, antivirals can still be prescribed in hospitals and in community outbreaks where clinically appropriate.
A guidance document has been issued by HPS with recommendations for the antiviral treatment and prophylaxis of influenza for the season 2013-14.