This report provides an update on influenza and other seasonal respiratory pathogen activity for the week ending 22 March 2015. For this season, we will provide detailed influenza update reports on a monthly 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 decreased. Virological influenza activity suggests that there is evidence of continued community circulation of influenza. Influenza B activity continues to increase.
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).
Eight laboratory confirmed influenza cases with severe infection requiring intensive care management (ICU cases) were reported to HPS within the last week (4 influenza A(not subtyped), 2 A(H3) and 2 A(H1N1)pdm09). Four new closed setting outbreaks of acute respiratory infection were reported to HPS (3 influenza A(not subtyped) and 1 influenza B).
The levels of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and rhinovirus, reported through non-sentinel sources (ECOSS), were stable and within expected seasonal levels. The levels of coronavirus, adenovirus, human metapneumovirus (hMPV) and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MPN) decreased but are above expected seasonal levels. The levels of parainfluenza increased and were above expected levels.The levels of seasonal respiratory pathogens reported through sentinel sources were stable with the exception of parainfluenza, levels of which increased but were within expected seasonal levels.