About this release

This release is a weekly report on epidemiological information on seasonal respiratory infection activity in Scotland. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health care services are functioning differently now compared to previous flu seasons so the consultation rates are not directly comparable to historical data.

Main points

Overall assessment:

  • Influenza was at Low activity level. There were 96 influenza cases: 80 type A (subtype unknown), 13 type A(H3) two type A(H1N1) pdm09 and one type B.
  • In week 13, HMPV, parainfluenza, RSV, rhinovirus and Mycoplasma pneumoniae were at Baseline activity level. Adenovirus and coronavirus (non-SARS-CoV-2) were at Low activity level.
  • The proportion of NHS24 calls for respiratory symptoms in week 13 remained at Low activity level overall. The 5-14 age group remained at Baseline activity level. The 15-44 and 65-74 age groups remained at Moderate activity level. The under 1 age group decreased from High to Moderate activity level. The 1-4 age group decreased from Moderate to Baseline activity level. The 45-64 and over 74 age groups decreased from Moderate to Low activity level.
  • Influenza vaccine data are presented and indicate that at least 2,713,182 eligible individuals are estimated to have received their vaccine. The flu vaccination programme has now ended for season 2021/22.

Background

Surveillance of respiratory infection is a key public health activity as it is associated with significant morbidity and mortality during the winter months, particularly in those at risk of complications of flu e.g. the elderly, those with chronic health problems and pregnant women.

The spectrum of respiratory illnesses vary from asymptomatic illness to mild/moderate symptoms to severe complications including death. In light of the spectrum of respiratory illness there is a need to have individual surveillance components which provide information on each aspect of the illnesses.

There is no single respiratory surveillance component that can describe the onset, severity and impact of influenza or the success of its control measures each season across a community.

To do so requires a number of complementary surveillance components which are either specific to respiratory infections or their control, or which are derived from data streams providing information of utility for other PHS specialities (corporate surveillance data). Together, the respiratory surveillance components provide a comprehensive and coherent picture on a timely basis throughout the flu season. Please see the influenza page on the HPS website for more details.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be 14 April 2022.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact phs.flu@phs.scot.

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If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

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Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 07 October 2022
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