HPA Weekly National Influenza Report
Summary of UK surveillance of influenza and other seasonal respiratory illnesses
3 January 2013 – Week 1 report (up to week 52 data)
Increases continue to be seen for several indicators of influenza activity. A letter has been issued to the NHS that GPs may now prescribe antiviral medicines for the prophylaxis and treatment of influenza in accordance with NICE guidance.
Due to bank holidays in week 52 (ending 30 December 2012), GP surgeries were only open for three days which will have impacted on GP consultation rates – data should be interpreted with caution.
Overall weekly influenza GP consultation rates across the UK
o In week 52 (ending 30 December 2012), the weekly primary care ILI consultation rate increased in England (32.7 per 100,000) Scotland (37.1 per 100,000) and Northern Ireland (43.7 per 100,000) and decreased in Wales (3.4 per 100,000).
o In week 52 2012, the weekly proportion of NHS Direct calls for cold/flu increased and the proportion for fever (5-14 yrs) decreased slightly but both remained above their respective influenza thresholds of 1.6% and 11.7%.
o 12 acute respiratory disease outbreaks (seven in care homes, three in schools and two in hospitals) have been reported in the past seven days. Out of the three with a virological result available, one was confirmed as influenza B, one was influenza A(unsubtyped) and one was RSV.
o 138 (16.6%) of the 684 respiratory specimens reported to DataMart (England) tested positive for influenza in week 52 (110 B, 14 A subtype not known, 8 A(H1N1)pdm09 and 6 A(H3)).
o The proportion of samples positive increased slightly for RSV and hMPV, decreased for rhinovirus and remained stable for adenovirus and parainfluenza.
o Five influenza B positive detections were recorded through the two English GP-based sentinel schemes in week 52.
Disease severity and mortality
o 40 new admissions to ICU/HDU with confirmed influenza (21 B, 11 A(subtype not known), seven A(H3N2), and one A(H1N1)pdm09) were reported through the USISS mandatory ICU surveillance scheme across the UK (137 Trusts in England) in week 52. 63 new hospitalised confirmed influenza cases have been reported through the USISS sentinel hospital network across England (24 Trusts).
o No excess all-cause mortality was seen by age group or region in week 50 across the UK as calculated with the EuroMOMO algorithm.
o Up to week 50, 71.7% of people in England aged 65 years and over had received the 2012/13 influenza vaccine (provisional data). For those in a clinical risk group aged under 65 years, provisional uptake was 48.3%.
o Amongst pregnant women, the provisional uptake was 39.6%.
o Provisional data from the second monthly collection of influenza vaccine uptake by frontline healthcare workers show 40.8% were vaccinated by 30 November 2012.
o During week 51 2012, despite surveillance limitations over the holiday period, there are clear indications that influenza transmission continues to rise in Europe, although the impact and characteristics of the epidemics are yet to be determined.
o Many countries of the northern hemisphere temperate region are now reporting elevated detections of influenza, particularly in North America.
Novel coronavirus 2012
o The total number of global laboratory confirmed human cases of novel coronavirus 2012 reported to WHO currently stands at nine. In the UK there has been one confirmed imported case to date and the public health response around this case has been published here. Information on management and guidance of possible cases is available on the HPA website.
In week 52, 40 new admissions to ICU/HDU with confirmed influenza infection (21 B, 11 A unknown
subtype, seven A(H3N2) and one A(H1N1)pdm09) were reported across the UK (137/163 Trusts in England)
through the USISS mandatory ICU scheme (Figures 12 and 13). Five new confirmed influenza deaths were
reported in week 52 2012. A total of 115 admissions (46 B, 35 A unknown subtype, 19 A(H3N2) and 15
A(H1N1)pdm09) have been reported since week 40 2012. Nine confirmed influenza deaths have been
reported across the UK in ICU/HDU since week 40 (Figure 12).