Australian Influenza Surveillance Report and Activity Updates

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 community level surveys; and sentinel laboratory testing results.

Page last updated: 29 August 2016

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. A more in-depth end-of-season report is also published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence journal.

Australian Influenza Surveillance Report No 06 - 06 August to 19 August 2016

Summary

  • In the fortnight ending 19 August 2016, influenza activity continued to increase at the national level, with most regions of Australia reporting widespread and increasing activity.
  • Influenza-like illness (ILI) also continued to increase nationally. More than half of all patients presenting to sentinel general practitioners with ILI and tested were positive for influenza this fortnight.
  • Influenza A(H3N2) continued to be the dominant circulating influenza virus nationally in recent weeks, noting jurisdictional variation. Notifications of influenza B increased slightly in recent weeks, but remained at low levels overall.
  • Notification rates this year to date have been highest in adults aged 85 years or older, with a secondary peak in the very young, aged less than 5 years. This is consistent with influenza A(H3N2) being typically more prevalent in older age groups.
  • 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.
  • To date, the seasonal influenza vaccines appear to be a good match for circulating virus strains.

Full Report

Data considerations

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 2016 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:

Annual 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.

Additionally, a brief overview of the influenza surveillance systems in Australia which formed the National Influenza Surveillance Scheme in 2015, is due to be published in the September 2016 edition of the Communicable Diseases Intelligence journal. This paper describes the systems based on the aspects of influenza activity that they represent as well as their respective strengths and limitations.

Accessibility Issues

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.

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