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.
- Influenza activity was at Baseline level. There were 25 influenza cases: 14 type A (subtype unknown), six type A (H3) and five type B. This compares with 26 influenza cases reported in week 51.
- Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) was at Extraordinary activity level.
- Coronavirus (non-SARS-CoV-2), parainfluenza and rhinovirus were at Low activity level.
- Adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Mycoplasma pneumoniae were at Baseline activity level.
- The proportion of NHS24 calls for respiratory symptoms in week 52 remained at Moderate level. The under 1 age group remained at Extraordinary activity level. The 5 to 14 and over 74 age groups remained at Moderate activity level. The 15 to 44 age group remained at High activity level. The 65 to 74 and 45 to 64 age groups increased from Moderate to High activity level. The 1 to 4 age group decreased from High to Moderate activity level.
- Influenza vaccine data are presented and indicate that at least 2,659,158 eligible individuals are estimated to have received their vaccine. On the 15 December 2021, the CMO recommended pausing the flu vaccination programme for the newly added 2021/22 cohorts to increase capacity to deliver COVID-19 booster vaccinations due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. Those considered to be most at risk are still able to access flu vaccination. The programme may recommence for others at some time in early 2022. For details please see NHS Inform (external website).
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 (external website) for more details.
The next release of this publication will be 13 January 2022.
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