Australian influenza report 2013—22 June to 05 July 2013 (#02/2013)

The Australian Influenza Report is compiled from a number of data sources, including laboratory-confirmed notifications to NNDSS, sentinel influenza-like illness reporting from General Practitioners and Emergency Departments, workplace absenteeism, and laboratory testing. Reports are produced fortnightly from May to October. A more in-depth end-of-season report is also published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence.

Page last updated: 23 July 2013

Current Report Summary

  • The onset of the winter influenza season is usually marked by a distinct and sustained rise in influenza activity. Nationally, influenza activity has started to increase. Increases are mainly in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
  • Compared with more recent years, it appears that nationally the 2013 winter influenza season will be starting later.
  • As at 5 July 2013, there have been 5,097 laboratory confirmed cases of influenza reported. This fortnight there was an almost 60% increase in the number of notifications reported to NNDSS compared with the last fortnight.
  • Nationally, whilst influenza A remains the predominant influenza virus type (60%), the proportion of influenza B notifications has continued to increase. During the 2012 season there were very few notifications of influenza A(H1N1) pdm09. So far in 2013 whilst the majority of influenza A reports are unsubtyped, more than 10% of overall notifications have been reported as influenza A(H1N1) pdm09.
  • The number of influenza associated hospitalisations so far in 2013 remains low.
  • The WHO has reported that influenza activity in the northern hemisphere temperate zones remains at inter-seasonal levels. Across most regions of tropical Asia, activity has decreased, however in Sri Lanka and Viet Nam influenza activity associated with influenza A has continued to remain relatively high.
  • The United States has reported further cases of the influenza A(H3N2) variant virus that were associated with fair attendance and contact with swine. The virus detected is the same as the variant viruses detected during the 2012 multi-state outbreak, which was also associated with swine exposure at agricultural fairs.
  • The WHO has reported on additional retrospectively detected laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China. To date, the WHO has been informed of a total of 133 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 43 deaths. Until the source of infection has been identified and controlled, it is expected that there will be further cases of human infection with the virus.

Full Report

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