This report provides an update on seasonal respiratory pathogen activity reports for the 2015/16 season for the week ending 24 January 2016. 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.
In Scotland, clinical influenza activity as measured by community presentations is low and stable but shows signs of a continuing moderate burden on hospital services as evidenced by new cases requiring intensive care management. Continuing community circulation of influenza is further evidenced by increased virology reports of influenza. In those viruses characterised, influenza A (H1N1) pdm2009 appears to be the main virus identified thus far this season.
A CMO letter, recommending that antiviral drugs can now be prescribed for the prevention or treatment of influenza in the community where clinically indicated was issued on the 28 of January 2016 and can be accessed here.
An updated guidance document has been issued by HPS with recommendations for the antiviral treatment and prophylaxis of influenza for the season 2015-16. Guidance on the use of neuramidase inhibitors in immunosuppressed individuals where influenza A H1N1 is the dominant circulating flu strain has also been published and can be accessed here.
In week 3, the levels of all seasonal respiratory (with the exception of Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MPN), reported through sentinel and non-sentinel sources (ECOSS) were stable and within expected seasonal levels.