Influenza surveillance program

Our influenza (flu) surveillance program monitors influenza activity and severity in the community. Fortnightly reports during flu season help us keep track of this disease in Australia.

About the program

The influenza surveillance program monitors influenza activity and severity in the community.

Australian Respiratory Surveillance Reports (ARSR)

We publish the ARSR regularly throughout the year. 

For historical information on influenza surveillance in Australia, see the Australian Influenza Surveillance Reports.

Data sources

We compile each report from several data sources. We use this data to monitor the:

  • distribution of acute respiratory illness activity in the community
  • severity of infections
  • populations which might be at risk for severe infections
  • impact of acute respiratory illness activity on the community and health system in Australia.

Read the Technical supplement – Australian Respiratory Surveillance Report for more information on the data sources that contribute to the ARSR.

Case definition

State and territory health departments use the Influenza (laboratory confirmed) – Surveillance case definition to decide whether to notify us of a case.

See our influenza technical supplement for an overview of the changes and their impact on how data will be presented in future reports.

Data considerations

The information in ARSR reports relies on several surveillance sources available to us. As access to sources can vary throughout seasons, our ARSR technical supplement outlines any relevant issues or considerations to help interpret the surveillance data, as needed.

Influenza vaccine efficacy, effectiveness and impact explained

There are 3 terms used to describe how well a vaccine works in an influenza season:

  1. vaccine efficacy
  2. vaccine effectiveness
  3. vaccine impact.

The ARSR technical supplement explains each of these terms. The influenza vaccine efficacy document also explains each of these terms as well as information specific to influenza vaccines.

Annual influenza reports

For in-depth historical information on influenza surveillance in Australia and end-of-season reports, see National Influenza Surveillance Scheme (NISS) annual reports.

We also publish an annually updated NNDSS influenza public dataset on our website.

State and territory surveillance reports

For more on current influenza activity at the jurisdictional level, please refer to the relevant state or territory health respiratory surveillance reports.

Learn more

Learn more about communicable diseases surveillance.

We also maintain the Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza. The plan outlines Australia’s strategy to:

  • manage an influenza pandemic
  • minimise its impact on the health of Australians and our health system.


Respiratory surveillance team

Contact the respiratory surveillance team for more information about Australian Respiratory Surveillance Reports (ARSRs).
Date last updated:

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.