About this release

Between April and October 2024, Public Health Scotland (PHS) will update the interactive dashboard and provide a narrative report once a month. The dashboard update and narrative report will be produced on 13 June 2024, 11 July 2024, 8 August 2024 and 5 September 2024. This approach aligns to the pre-pandemic one for respiratory pathogens, which typically follow a seasonal pattern. PHS will continue to monitor COVID-19 and other respiratory infection levels and reinstate the weekly narrative report before September 2024 if necessary.

Main Points

Overall assessment 13 May 2024 to 9 June 2024 (ISO weeks 20 - 23): 

  • Respiratory symptoms in the community measured via calls to NHS24 and attendance at GP consultations for influenza-like-illness (GP ILI) remained at Baseline activity level across the four-week reporting period.
  • In the CARI community surveillance system, rhinovirus had the highest proportion of positive samples (especially for children ages 0-4), followed by SARS-CoV-2 (especially for adults 45 years and older) and parainfluenza. Swab positivity for rhinovirus and SARS-CoV-2 increased over the period but stayed stable for parainfluenza. All other pathogens stayed low and stable.
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae decreased to Moderate activity level during the reporting period, while all other pathogens, including influenza, were at baseline or low activity level. There was a trend of increasing numbers of positive COVID-19 cases reported per week throughout the four-week period (1,718 reported in total).
  • In the most recent week, there were 225 emergency admissions with a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of influenza, RSV, or COVID-19. This was an increase compared to the previous weeks within the reporting period (194 in week 22, 167 in week 21, and 203 in week 20).
  • Emergency hospital admissions because of influenza continued to decrease from 77 in week 18 to 52 in week 19 and for RSV from 9 to 2. For COVID-19, emergency hospital admissions have increased to 126 from 105. There were three ICU/HDU admissions for influenza but no admissions for RSV or COVID-19.
  • All-cause excess mortality for week 20 (week ending 19 May 2024, the latest week not impacted by reporting delays) remained at Baseline activity level overall and for all age groups.
  • Estimates of 2023/2024 season influenza vaccine effectiveness from the UK and Scotland demonstrate robust protection against illness and severe infection. These findings further reinforce the importance among those eligible of getting an annual influenza vaccine when offered.


Tracking infectious respiratory diseases, including COVID-19 and influenza, is essential, especially in the winter when the disease burden can be highest. In Scotland, respiratory infection and associated morbidity are monitored using enhanced surveillance. This approach combines data from microbiological sampling and laboratory test results from community and hospital settings with data from syndromic surveillance of NHS 24 calls, primary care consultations for respiratory symptoms, hospital (including intensive care) admissions and other settings.

The intelligence generated from surveillance of laboratory, syndromic and community settings provide a comprehensive picture of current respiratory illness in Scotland. The data presented in this report provide a comprehensive and timely epidemiological picture that is essential for understanding transmission of infection and supporting patient care and NHS service planning and policy.

Seasonality patterns / seasonal variations

Respiratory illnesses are associated with seasonal increase in the autumn and winter. Seasonality patterns for both influenza viruses and non-influenza respiratory pathogens have been established through many years of surveillance data. Most influenza and non-influenza pathogens circulate in the autumn and winter in Scotland, although some are known to circulate in the spring and summer. Notably, COVID-19 transmission has been occurring in waves throughout the year as observed from surveillance data since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be 11 July 2024.

Find out more

Previous Publications

Versions of the Weekly national respiratory report publication released before 30 November 2022 may be found on the Public Health Scotland website.

Versions of the COVID-19 weekly statistical report publication released before 30 November 2022 may be found on the Public Health Scotland website.

Open data

Open data from this publication is available from the following weblinks:

Further data

  • The COVID-19 Vaccine Wastage datafile was updated on 18 April 2024 to include the most recent information.
  • The COVID-19 in Adult Care Homes in Scotland datafile was updated on 27 July 2023 to include more recent information.
  • 28 September 2022 COVID-19 statistical report publication contains information on COVID-19 infection and vaccination in pregnancy in Scotland.
  • 2 March 2022 COVID-19 statistical report publication contains information on Highest Risk (shielding patients list)
  • 7 November 2023 Community Acute Respiratory Infection (CARI) surveillance in primary care contains information on flu Vaccine effectiveness in community settings.
  • 25 May 2023 Interim 2022/23 influenza vaccine effectiveness: six European studies, October 2022 to January 2023, contains information on flu Vaccine effectiveness in hospital settings.
  • 13 January 2024 Estimated number of lives directly saved by COVID-19 vaccination programs in the WHO European Region, December 2020 to March 2023, contains information on lives saved due to COVID-19 vaccination

General enquiries

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

Media enquiries

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

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

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: 12 June 2024
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