National seasonal respiratory update 28 January 2018

06 February 2018

Article: 52/0501

According to the current HPS Weekly National Seasonal Respiratory report for week 4 (week ending 28 January 2018), published on 1 February 2018, the overall assessment remained amber representing moderate seasonal activity. The report also noted that:

  • There had been a further significant reduction in the GP consultation rates for influenza-like illness (ILI) which was highly suggestive that the peak in GP consultations had now been passed.
  • The colour indicator for influenza in closed settings had reduced from amber to yellow, representing normal season activity. There was continuing reduction in virological detections of influenza in secondary care. Influenza B detections remained stable in secondary care settings.
  • It was difficult to assess the contribution of influenza to the very high statistically significant excess in all cause mortality reported in weeks 52, 1, 2 and 3, but ICU mortality due to laboratory-confirmed influenza remained within the normal seasonal range.
  • Vaccine uptake rates increased in week 3. It would not be too late to be vaccinated - vaccination of those eligible for seasonal influenza remained the most important preventative measure to reduce influenza.
  • An increase in community circulation of influenza prompted the issue of a CMO letter┬áin week 50 and the advice that GPs may prescribe antivirals remained in force.