This report provides an update on influenza and other seasonal respiratory pathogen activity for the week ending 23 February 2014. 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), 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.
A guidance document has been issued by HPS with recommendations for the antiviral treatment and prophylaxis of influenza for the season 2013-14.
Influenza clinical activity is increasing, though still low overall. However, due to an increase in virological activity and an increasing number of severe cases of influenza, there is now evidence of significant community circulation of influenza.
A CMO letter, recommending that antivirals can be used in primary care where clinically appropriate, was issued on the 17th of February 2014 and can be accessed at: http://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/cmo/CMO(2014)05.pdf.
Since week 40 2013, a total of 32 laboratory confirmed influenza infections requiring intensive care management (ICU cases) have been reported to HPS (31 A(H1N1)pdm09 and one A(not subtyped)).
The levels of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MPN), reported through non-sentinel sources (ECOSS), decreased and were within expected levels. The levels of rhinovirus, human metapneumovirus (hMPV), adenovirus and coronavirus decreased but remained above expected levels.
The levels of RSV, rhinovirus, coronavirus, parainfluenza, adenovirus, hMPV and MPN, reported through sentinel sources, were low and within expected seasonal levels.