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.