Australian Influenza Activity Update – week ending 25 April 2014 (#02/2014)

The Australian Influenza Surveillance Report and Activity Updates are compiled from a number of data sources, which are used to monitor influenza activity and severity in the community. These data sources include laboratory-confirmed notifications to NNDSS; influenza associated hospitalisations; sentinel influenza-like illness (ILI) reporting from general practitioners and emergency departments; ILI-related call centre calls and community level surveys; and sentinel laboratory testing results.

Page last updated: 02 May 2014

The Australian Influenza Surveillance Report is published on a fortnightly basis during the influenza season, typically between May and October. Influenza activity updates will be published outside of the seasonal period, with updates also provided during the season. A more in-depth end-of-season report is also published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence journal.

Current Australian Influenza Activity Update – week ending 25 April 2014

  • Nationally the 2013 influenza season peaked at the end of August, with notifications remaining higher than usual over the summer period (Figure 1).
  • Australia is currently in the inter-seasonal period for influenza. Nationally, influenza activity levels are low and stable, but higher than at the same time in previous years (Figures 1 and 4).
  • Across most jurisdictions, influenza activity is higher compared to the same period in previous years, however current levels are relatively stable (Figure 2).
  • There is no indication that the 2014 influenza season has commenced, nor any indication of the potential severity of the season.
  • Nationally influenza A remains the predominant influenza virus type. Of those viruses where subtyping data are available, A(H1N1)pdm09 is most common (Figure 3).
  • Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 was the predominant virus associated with severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults in Europe and the United States of America during the northern hemisphere 2013-14 season.
  • Influenza virus strains currently circulating within Australia are similar to the strains included in the 2014 vaccine.

Figure 1: Notifications of laboratory confirmed influenza, Australia, 1 January 2010 to 25 April 2014

This figure is a national epidemic curve of the number of laboratory confirmed influenza notifications by week since 2010 to the current reporting week.

Source: National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System

Figure 2: Notifications of laboratory confirmed influenza, Australia, 1 January to 25 April 2014, by state or territory and week

This figure is an epidemic curve of the number of laboratory confirmed influenza notifications by week for 2014 up to the current reporting week for each jurisdiction.

Source: National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System
Note: Each figure has a different vertical scale range

Figure 3: Notifications of laboratory confirmed influenza, Australia, 1 January to 25 April 2014, by subtype and week

This figure is an epidemic curve of the number of laboratory confirmed influenza notifications by week for 2014 up to the current reporting week. Each bar is categorized by influenza type and subtype.

Source: National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System

Figure 4: Weekly rate of ILI reported from sentinel General Practitioner ILI surveillance systems, 1 January 2010 to 27 April 2014, by week

This figure provides the weekly rate of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported from sentinel General Practitioner (ILI) surveillance systems since 1 January 2010 up to the current reporting week.

Source: Australian Sentinel Practices Research Network and the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory General Practitioner influenza-like illness surveillance systems

Previous Reports and Updates

Annual Reports

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Should you encounter issues in accessing the information contained either on this webpage or within the downloadable full reports please email flu (flu@health.gov.au) or contact the Department of Health switchboard on 02 6289 1555 or 1800 020 103.