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:

  • There were 82 influenza cases: 75 type A (subtype unknown) and seven type A(H3).
  • In week 17, parainfluenza, coronavirus (non-SARS-CoV-2), HMPV, RSV, rhinovirus and Mycoplasma pneumoniae were at Baseline activity level. Adenovirus was at Low activity level.
  • The proportion of NHS24 calls for respiratory symptoms in week 17 was at Baseline activity level overall. The 1-4, 5-14, 15-44, 45-64, 65-74 and over 75 age groups remained at Baseline activity level. The under 1 age group decreased from Low to Baseline activity level.
  • The hospitalisation rate for influenza was 0.6 per 100,000 in week 17, with the highest hospital admission rate for confirmed influenza noted in patients in the under 1 age group (4.1 per 100,000).
  • The vaccination programme ended on the 31st March. While we review and finalise these data, with support from NHS board colleagues, the data presented here indicate that at least 2,713,517 eligible individuals are estimated to have received their vaccine at the end of week 15 (week ending 17th April 2022). A final report on flu vaccine uptake will be published in May.

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.

This 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 12 May 2022.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email 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: 13 June 2022
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