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; ILI-related community level surveys; and sentinel laboratory testing results.

Page last updated: 21 August 2017

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 06 - 22 July to 04 August 2017

Summary

  • Influenza activity at the national level continued to increase this reporting fortnight with many surveillance systems at levels comparable to the peak of the 2016 season.
  • High levels of influenza activity in the community are likely to continue for the next few weeks.
  • There has been almost two and a half times the number of laboratory confirmed notifications of influenza reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System 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.
  • Influenza-like illness (ILI) is increasing nationally. Influenza was the most common cause of ILI presentations to sentinel general practitioners this fortnight, with almost half of all patients presenting to sentinel general practitioners with ILI and tested were positive for influenza.
  • Influenza A(H3N2) is currently the predominant circulating virus nationally, however influenza B viruses also continue to circulate.
  • Notification rates this year to date have been highest in adults aged 85 years or older, with a secondary peak in young children, aged 5 to 9 years.
  • Hospitalisations with confirmed influenza have increased overall this reporting fortnight, but have declined in the most recent week.
  • 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 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.

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 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:

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.

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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