About this release
This release is a weekly report on epidemiological information on seasonal influenza 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.
- Influenza activity was at Baseline level. There were 17 influenza cases: five type A (subtype unknown), one type A(H1N1), two type A(H3) and nine type B. This compares with nine influenza cases reported in week 42.
- The proportion of NHS24 calls for respiratory symptoms in week 43 was at Low activity level The under 1, and 15-44 age group decreased to Low activity level. The over 74 age group increased to Low activity level, and the 1-4 age group increased to Moderate activity level. The 5-14 age group remained at Baseline activity level, the 65-74 age group remained at Low activity level, and the over 45-64 age group remained at Moderate activity level.
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) decreased to Baseline activity level. The large majority of RSV detections thus far have been in those aged under 5 years. The typical RSV season usually peaks between week 49 and week 52. However, in 2021, week on week increases in laboratory-confirmed diagnoses for RSV were reported between week 23 and week 40. Cases have declined over consecutive weeks since the peak in week 40.
- Coronavirus (non-SARS-CoV-2) increased to Moderate activity level.
- Rhinovirus, human metapneumovirus (HMPV) and parainfluenza were at Low activity level.
- Influenza vaccine data are presented for the first eight weeks of the programme and indicate an estimated 1,186,598 eligible individuals have received their vaccine.
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.
The next release of this publication will be 11 November 2021.
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