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 23 influenza cases: five type A(H3), 12 type A (subtype unknown) and six type B. This compares with 15 influenza cases reported in week 48.
- Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) was at Extraordinary activity level.
- Coronavirus (non-SARS-CoV-2) was at Moderate activity level.
- Rhinovirus and parainfluenza were at Low activity level.
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), adenovirus and Mycoplasma pneumoniae were at Baseline activity level.
- The proportion of NHS24 calls for respiratory symptoms in week 49 remained at Moderate activity level The under 1 and 1-4 age groups increased from High to Extraordinary activity level. The over 74 age group decreased from Moderate to Low activity level. The remaining age groups remained at Moderate activity level.
- Influenza vaccine data are presented and indicate that at least 2,542,854 eligible individuals are estimated to 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 23 December 2021.
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