This report provides an update on influenza and other seasonal respiratory pathogen activity for the week ending 19 May 2013. This is the last weekly report of the influenza season 20121/2013. 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 estimates of vaccine uptake.
The GP consultation rate for influenza-like illness (ILI) has been calculated using the same method as in the season 2011/12. Please refer to the technical document for further information.
Clinical influenza activity was marginally lower than the previous week and was below the threshold for normal seasonal activity overall. Virological influenza activity detected through the GP sentinel scheme and through non-sentinel sources continue to decrease. Please note that the data for week 20 is provisional.
Levels of non-influenza seasonal respiratory pathogens overall were in line with expected levels for this time of year, with the exception of Human Metapneumovirus and parainfluenza levels reported through non-sentinel (ECOSS) which remained increased and at levels higher than at the same time in previous years.
Levels of parainfluenza remain higher than expected in GP sentinel sources. Human Metapneumovirus levels in GP sentinel sources fell this week.
No new influenza cases with severe infection requiring management in an intensive care unit (ICU) were reported to HPS in the last week. Since week 40 2012, a total of 125 influenza infections requiring ICU have been reported to HPS (60 A(H3), 21 A(H1N1)pdm09, 7 A (subtype unknown), 37 B), 35 of who were known to have died.
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.