Influenza activity decreased in Ireland during Week 11 2014

March 21, 2014

Update by Dr J Gallagher, Employment health Advisors (EHA): Influenza activity decreased in Ireland during week 11 2014, however remained at elevated levels, with continuing reports of confirmed influenza hospital and ICU admissions and outbreaks. Influenza A(H3) is the predominant virus circulating. The sentinel GP ILI consultation rate was 38.2 per 100,000 population during week 11 2014, a slight decrease compared to the updated rate of 49 per 100,000 during week 10 2014. ILI rates remain above the Irish baseline threshold (21.0 per 100,000 population), for the seventh consecutive week. The highest age specific ILI rates during week 11 2014 were in those aged 65 years and older; age specific rates in all other age groups decreased. Influenza positivity decreased during week 11 2014, with 84 (22.6%) influenza positive specimens reported from the NVRL: 54 influenza A(H3), 29 influenza A(H1)pdm09 and one influenza A (not subtyped). The highest age specific rates for confirmed influenza cases admitted to hospital were in those aged less than 1 year and those aged 65 years and older. 20 influenza-associated deaths were reported to HPSC to date this season. 10 acute respiratory outbreaks were reported to HPSC during week 11 2014, the majority in residential care facilities/long stay units/community hospitals. Based on various influenza indicators, the status of the 2013/2014 influenza season has varied considerably across EU/EEA Member States in terms of the phase of the epidemic, its intensity and the dominant virus subtype.


Influenza levels in Ireland Week 9 2014

March 8, 2014

Update by Dr J Gallagher, Employment Health Advisors (EHA):

Influenza activity remained at elevated levels in Ireland during week 9 2014, with continuing reports of confirmed influenza hospital and ICU admissions and outbreaks. Influenza A(H3) is the predominant virus circulating, and is co-circulating with influenza A(H1)pdm09. The sentinel GP influenza-like illness (ILI) consultation rate was 53.6 per 100,000 population during week 9 2014, a slight increase compared to the updated rate of 50.5 per 100,000 during week 8 2014. ILI rates remain above the Irish baseline threshold (21.0 per 100,000 population), for the fourth consecutive week. The highest age specific ILI rates during week 9 2014 were in the 5-14 year age group. Influenza positivity decreased during week 9 2014, with 118 (26.3%) influenza positive specimens reported from the National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL): 74 influenza A(H3), 36 influenza A(H1)pdm09 and 8 influenza A (not subtyped). Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) positivity reported from the NVRL during week 9 2014 was at low levels. Ninety-four confirmed influenza hospitalised cases were reported to HPSC during week 9 2014, bringing the total number of hospitalised cases reported this season to 285. The highest age specific rates for confirmed influenza cases admitted to hospital were in those aged less than 1 year and those aged 65 years and over. Sixteen influenza-associated deaths were reported to HPSC to date this season. Four acute respiratory outbreaks were reported to HPSC during week 9 2014 (via Ireland’s Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting System), all in residential care facilities/long stay units/community hospitals. Influenza activity remains diverse within Europe; some countries are experiencing decreasing influenza activity while others have not yet reached an epidemic peak. Influenza A(H1)pdm09 and A(H3) viruses are co-circulating in outpatient settings; however, influenza A(H1)pdm09 is predominant in hospitalised cases in Europe


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