This report provides an update on influenza and other seasonal respiratory pathogen activity to the week ending 21 December 2014. 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 still low overall. However increases in virological activity reported through non-sentinel (ECOSS) and sentinel sources, and a number of closed setting outbreaks due to acute respiratory infections indicates 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.
From week 48 to week 51, two influenza cases with severe infection requiring intensive care management (ICU cases) were reported to HPS (1 A(H3N2) and 1 A(not subtyped)).
Over the past four weeks, the levels of seasonal non-influenza respiratory pathogens reported through sentinel sources and non-sentinel sources remained in line with expected levels, with the exception of adenovirus and human metapneumovirus (hMPV), levels of which increased and were above expected levels for this time of the year. Detections of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) continue as the annual RSV wave increases towards its peak activity.