About this release

This release is a weekly report on epidemiological information on seasonal influenza activity in Scotland. Due to COVID 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 activity was at Baseline level. There were two cases of influenza A (subtype unknown) reported compared to zero in the previous week.
  • The proportion of NHS24 calls that were for respiratory symptoms increased to Extraordinary activity level in the 1-4 years age group, whereas in the 5-14 age group there was an increase to Moderate activity level.
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) remained at Low activity level. However, week on week increases in laboratory-confirmed diagnoses for RSV have been reported since week 23 2021.
  • Rhinovirus was at Moderate activity level.
  • Human metapneumovirus was at Low activity level.

Background

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

There is no single flu 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 influenza or its control, or which are derived from data streams providing information of utility for other PHS specialities (corporate surveillance data). Together, the influenza 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 (external website) for more details.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be 16 September 2021.

General enquiries

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

Media enquiries

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

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To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

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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