Update by Dr J Gallagher, Employment Health Advisors (EHA):
All indicators of influenza activity in Ireland remained at low levels during week 20 2014.
The sentinel GP ILI consultation rates remained low during week 20 2014, at 1.3 100,000 population. ILI rates remained below the Irish baseline threshold (21.0 per 100,000 population). Age specific ILI rates were low in all age groups. Influenza positivity reported from the NVRL remained low during week 20 2014. Two (1.7%) influenza positive specimens were reported from the NVRL during week 20 2014, both influenza A(H3). Influenza A(H3) has been the predominant virus circulating this season, co-circulating with influenza A(H1)pdm09. No confirmed influenza hospitalised cases were reported to HPSC during week 20 2014. The total number of confirmed influenza hospitalised cases reported to HPSC this season was 670.
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. 82 confirmed influenza cases were admitted to ICU and reported to HPSC this season, 41 associated with influenza A(H1)pdm09, 31 with A(H3), 9 A (not subtyped) and one influenza B. 34 influenza-associated deaths have been reported to HPSC this season. No acute respiratory outbreaks were reported to HPSC during week 20 2014. Influenza activity is at interseasonal levels in most countries in the northern hemisphere as the influenza season draws to a close.