The Australian Influenza Surveillance Report (AISR) is published on a fortnightly basis during the influenza season, typically between May and October. Influenza activity updates may be published outside of the seasonal period.
Australian Influenza Surveillance Report No 08 - 19 August to 01 September 2017
- Influenza activity at the national level decreased this reporting fortnight after reaching a peak in weeks 32 and 33; however, high levels of activity continued to be reported in a majority of regions. The peak measured across the surveillance systems demonstrates national influenza activity this season has been at comparable or higher levels than in recent years.
- Western Australia has generally experienced a lower level of activity this season than the southern and eastern jurisdictions.
- High to moderate levels of influenza activity in the community are likely to continue for the next few weeks.
- There has been more than two and a half times the number of laboratory confirmed notifications of influenza reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) this year when compared with the same period last year. An earlier season onset and introduction of rapid testing have contributed, in part, to this increase. Victoria is experiencing a significant administrative backlog in data entry. This is likely to alter the pattern of notifications once the backlog is resolved.
- National indicators of influenza-like illness (ILI) declined in the last fortnight, further supporting that the season has peaked nationally. The proportion of patients presenting to sentinel general practitioners with ILI and testing positive for influenza declined this fortnight.
- Influenza A(H3N2) is currently the predominant circulating influenza A virus nationally. Influenza B viruses also continue to circulate, with the proportion of total notifications attributed to influenza B increasing this reporting fortnight.
- Notification rates this year to date have been highest in adults aged 80 years or older, with a secondary peak in young children, aged 5 to 9 years. This is consistent with previous seasons where influenza A(H3N2) and influenza B, respectively, have predominated.
- Hospitalisations with confirmed influenza decreased this reporting fortnight, following a peak in week 32. Clinical severity for the season to date, as measured through the proportion of patients admitted directly to ICU and deaths attributed to pneumonia or influenza, is low to moderate. The proportion of patients admitted directly to ICU has been lower than in recent years.
- To date, based on antigenic characterisation of circulating influenza viruses, the seasonal influenza vaccines appear to be a moderate to good match for circulating virus strains, depending on the strain. Vaccine effectiveness estimates, which provide an indication of how well the vaccine provides protection against influenza, are only available towards the end of the influenza season.
The AISR aims to increase awareness of influenza activity in Australia by providing an analysis of the various surveillance data sources throughout Australia. While every care has been taken in preparing this report, the Commonwealth does not accept liability for any injury or loss or damage arising from the use of, or reliance upon, the content of the report. Delays in the reporting of data may cause data to change retrospectively. For further details about information contained in this report please refer to the AISR 2017 Data Consideration:
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Previous Reports and Updates
State and Territory Surveillance Reports
For further information regarding current influenza activity at the jurisdictional level, please refer to the following State and Territory departments of health surveillance reports:
National Influenza Surveillance Scheme
This paper provides a comprehensive summary and analysis of the National Influenza Surveillance Scheme, including surveillance systems that function outside of the Scheme, in 2015. The Scheme is coordinated by the Australian Government Department of Health and supported by a number of surveillance systems that aim to be nationally representative and monitor important aspects of severity, incidence and virology. Influenza activity monitored through its systems is presented in reports available on this page. Several jurisdictionally based surveillance systems that operate outside of the Scheme are used to inform local influenza activity trends. This paper describes the strengths and limitations of these influenza surveillance systems in terms of the aspects of influenza activity that they inform and their contribution to the overall monitoring of influenza activity in Australia.
Should you encounter issues in accessing the information contained either on this webpage or within the downloadable full reports please email flu (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact the Department of Health switchboard on 02 6289 1555 or 1800 020 103.
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