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


Influenza levels in Ireland during weeks 51 & 52 of 2013

January 7, 2014

Update By Dr D J Gallagher, Employment Health Advisors (EHA).
Influenza activity levels remained at low levels in Ireland during weeks 51 & 52 2013; however sporadic confirmed cases of influenza are being reported. The sentinel GP influenza-like illness (ILI) consultation rate remained low at 10.1 per 100,000 population during week 52 2013 and 7.4 per 100,000 population during week 51 2013. ILI rates remained below the Irish baseline threshold (21.0 per 100,000 population). ILI rates remained at low levels in all age groups. Influenza positivity remained low during week 51 2013, with seven (3.4%) influenza positive specimens reported from the National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL): 3 influenza A (not subtyped) and 4 influenza A (H3). No influenza positive specimens were reported from the NVRL for week 52 2013. There were no reports of any influenza-associated deaths occurring during this period. One acute respiratory outbreak (influenza negative) was reported in a residential institute in HSE-S to HPSC (via Ireland’s Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting System) during week 51 2013. In North America the influenza season has started, with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 predominating. For the rest of the northern hemisphere as well as in the southern hemisphere influenza activity remained low.


Flu Update – Week 48, 2013

December 10, 2013

By Dr J Gallagher, Employment Health Advisors.
All indicators of influenza activity in Ireland were at low levels during week 48 2013; however some clinical indicators were showing signs of slight increases in activity. The sentinel GP influenza-like illness (ILI) consultation rate was 8.4 per 100,000 population in week 48 2013, an increase from the updated rate of 3.9 per 100,000 population in week 47. ILI rates remained below the Irish baseline threshold (21.0 per 100,000 population). ILI rates remained at low levels in all age groups. The proportion of influenza–related calls to GP Out-of-Hours services increased slightly during week 48 2013, however remained at low levels. No influenza positive specimens from sentinel GP or non-sentinel sources were reported from the National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL) during week 48 2013. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) positivity decreased during week 48 2013, however remained at elevated levels. One confirmed influenza B hospitalised case was reported to HPSC during week 48 2013. This case was previously reported by the NVRL. No confirmed influenza cases were admitted to ICU and reported to HPSC to date this season. There were no reports of any influenza-associated deaths occurring during this period. No acute respiratory outbreaks were reported to HPSC (via Ireland’s Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting System) during week 48 2013. There has been no evidence of sustained influenza activity as yet in Europe for the 2013/2014 season.


Influenza activity in Ireland decreased during week 10 2013

March 21, 2013

Influenza activity in Ireland decreased during week 10 2013; however influenza associated hospitalisations and outbreaks continue to be reported.

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The sentinel GP influenza‐like illness (ILI) consultation rate was 34.7 per 100,000 population in week 10 2013, a slight decrease compared to the updated rate of 41.3 per 100,000 during week 9 2013.  ILI rates have now remained above the Irish baseline threshold (21.0 per 100,000 population) for 13 weeks this season. ILI age specific rates were highest in the 15‐64 year age group during week 10 2013. The proportion of influenza–related calls to GP Out‐of‐Hours services remained stable during week 10 2013.

Influenza positivity decreased during week 10 2013 to 21.5%, compared to 25.7% during the previous week. Twenty‐six influenza A(H3), 16 influenza A(H1)pdm09, 6 A (unsubtyped) and 24 influenza B positive specimens were reported from the NVRL for week 10 2013. The percentage positivity for influenza A (66.7%) was higher than for influenza B (33.3%). Seven acute respiratory outbreaks in residential care facilities/community hospitals were reported to HPSC during week 10 2013. Influenza activity remained substantial in week 9 2013 across Europe; however an increasing number of countries reported declining transmission.

 

For more information please contact dan[at]ehasoft.com

 


Influenza activity in Ireland stabilised during week 8 2013

March 2, 2013

Influenza activity in Ireland stabilised during week 8 2013, compared to the previous week, however influenza-associated hospitalisations and outbreaks continue to be reported. The sentinel GP influenza-like illness (ILI) consultation rate was 39.7 per 100,000 population in week 8 2013, remaining stable compared to the updated rate of 39.8 per 100,000 during week 7 2013. ILI rates are above the Irish baseline threshold (21.0 per 100,000 population). ILI age specific rates were highest in the 15-64 year age group during week 8 2013. The proportion of influenza–related calls to GP Out-of-Hours services decreased during week 8 2013, for the second consecutive week.  Influenza positivity was 27.4% during week 8 2013, compared to 26.8% during the previous week. Twenty-four influenza A(H3), 16 influenza A(H1)pdm09, 6 A (unsubtyped) and 31 influenza B, positive specimens were reported from the NVRL for week 8 2013. The percentage positivity for influenza A (59.7%) was higher than for influenza B (40.3%). Six acute respiratory outbreaks were reported to HPSC during week 8 2013.

Influenza activity remained significant in week 7 2013 across Europe; however an increasing number of countries reported declining influenza transmission.


Influenza activity in Ireland decreased during week 7 2013

February 25, 2013

Several indicators of influenza activity in Ireland decreased during week 7 2013, compared to the previous week, however influenza-associated hospitalisations and outbreaks continue to be reported.  The sentinel GP influenza-like illness (ILI) consultation rate was 40.9 per 100,000 population in week 7 2013, a decrease compared to the updated rate of 58.1 per 100,000 during week 6 2013. ILI rates are above the Irish baseline threshold (21.0 per 100,000 population). ILI age specific rates decreased in all age groups. The proportion of influenza–related calls to GP Out-of-Hours services decreased during week 7 2013, compared to the previous week.  Influenza positivity decreased to 18.8% during week 7 2013, compared to 33.8% during the previous week. Twenty-four influenza B, 12 influenza A(H3) and nine influenza A(H1)pdm09 positive specimens were reported from the NVRL for week 7 2013. During week 7 2013, both influenza A and B were co-circulating. To date this season, one confirmed influenza B-associated death was reported to HPSC (during week 5 2013). Four acute respiratory outbreaks were reported to HPSC during week 7 2013. Significant influenza activity continued across Europe in week 6 2013, despite having peaked in a few countries in earlier weeks.


Influenza in Ireland Week 4 2013

February 1, 2013

Influenza activity in Ireland remained stable during week 4 2013, compared to the previous week. Hospitalisations and outbreaks associated with influenza/influenza-like illness continue to be reported. The sentinel GP influenza-like illness (ILI) consultation rate was 48.5 per 100,000 population in week 4 2013, remaining unchanged compared to the updated rate of 47.2 per 100,000 during week 3 2013. ILI rates are above the Irish baseline threshold (21.0 per 100,000 population). ILI age specific rates increased significantly in the 5-14 year age group. The proportion of influenza–related calls to GP Out-of-Hours services increased slightly during week 4 2013. Influenza positivity decreased to 12.9% during week 4 2013, compared to 22.2% during the previous week. Twenty-seven influenza B, three influenza A (H3) and one influenza A (unsubtyped) positive specimens were reported from the NVRL for week 4 2013. Influenza B remains the dominant circulating influenza virus to date this season, accounting for 86.6% of all influenza positive specimens detected by the NVRL this season. Influenza A and B positivity decreased during week 4 2013, compared to the previous week. During week 4 2013, 20 confirmed influenza cases were reported as hospitalised, ten associated with influenza A and 10 with influenza B. To date this season, 86 confirmed influenza cases were reported as hospitalised, 77.9% were associated with influenza B. There were no reports of any confirmed influenza-associated deaths occurring this season to date. One ILI outbreak in a school was reported to HPSC during week 4 2013. Influenza activity remained high and increasing in many European countries during week 3 2013, although transmission may have peaked in some countries, particularly in Western Europe


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