Australian Influenza Surveillance Report and Activity Updates

The Australian Influenza Surveillance Report and Activity Updates are compiled from a number of data sources, which are used to monitor influenza activity and severity in the community. These data sources include laboratory-confirmed notifications to NNDSS; influenza associated hospitalisations; sentinel influenza-like illness (ILI) reporting from general practitioners; ILI-related community level surveys; and sentinel laboratory testing results.

Page last updated: 27 September 2019

The Australian Influenza Surveillance Report (AISR) is published on a fortnightly basis during the influenza season, typically between May and October. Influenza activity updates may be published outside of the seasonal period.

Australian Influenza Surveillance Report - 2019 Influenza Season in Australia

Australian Influenza Surveillance Report No 12 - fortnight ending 06 October 2019

Key Messages

  • Activity – Currently, influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) activity is lower than average for this time of year compared to previous years, and is consistent with past activity following a peak in notifications and coming to the end of the influenza season. At the national level, notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza have decreased in the past fortnight.
  • Impact – Impact for the season to date, as measured through the number of sentinel hospital beds occupied by patients with influenza and the rate of Flutracking respondents absent from normal duties, is low to moderate.
  • Severity – Clinical severity for the season to date, as measured through the proportion of patients admitted directly to ICU, and deaths attributed to influenza, is low.
  • Virology – The majority of confirmed influenza cases reported nationally were influenza A in the year to date (76.9%) and past fortnight (61.9%). The proportion of cases attributed to influenza B has decreased slightly in the past fortnight.
  • Vaccine match and effectiveness – Antigenic analysis of circulating influenza viruses in Australia in 2019 shows that the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and influenza B/Yamagata-lineage viruses are well matched to the 2019 influenza vaccine while some A(H3N2) and B/Victoria-lineage viruses are less well matched. Overall vaccine effectiveness appears good and as expected based on preliminary estimates from general practice (ASPREN) and sentinel hospitals (FluCAN-PAEDS), noting that effectiveness typically ranges from around 40-60% each year.

Full Report

Data considerations

The AISR aims to increase awareness of influenza activity in Australia by providing an analysis of the various surveillance data sources throughout Australia. While every care has been taken in preparing this report, the Commonwealth does not accept liability for any injury or loss or damage arising from the use of, or reliance upon, the content of the report. Delays in the reporting of data may cause data to change retrospectively. For further details about information contained in this report please refer to the AISR 2018 Data Consideration:

Influenza vaccine efficacy, effectiveness and impact explained

There are three general terms that are used to describe how well a vaccine works in any given influenza season: vaccine efficacy, vaccine effectiveness and vaccine impact. This document provides a general explanation of each of these terms as well as information specific to influenza vaccines.

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Previous Reports and Updates

State and Territory Surveillance Reports

For further information regarding current influenza activity at the jurisdictional level, please refer to the following State and Territory departments of health surveillance reports:

Annual Reports

National Influenza Surveillance Scheme

This paper provides a comprehensive summary and analysis of the National Influenza Surveillance Scheme, including surveillance systems that function outside of the Scheme, in 2015. The Scheme is coordinated by the Australian Government Department of Health and supported by a number of surveillance systems that aim to be nationally representative and monitor important aspects of severity, incidence and virology. Influenza activity monitored through its systems is presented in reports available on this page. Several jurisdictionally based surveillance systems that operate outside of the Scheme are used to inform local influenza activity trends. This paper describes the strengths and limitations of these influenza surveillance systems in terms of the aspects of influenza activity that they inform  and their contribution to the overall monitoring of influenza activity in Australia.

Accessibility Issues

Should you encounter issues in accessing the information contained either on this webpage or within the downloadable full reports please email flu (flu@health.gov.au) or contact the Department of Health switchboard on 02 6289 1555 or 1800 020 103.

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