Sentinel surveillance of community acute respiratory infection in Scotland

02 November 2021

Article: 55/4401

On 1 November 2021, Public Health Scotland (PHS) implemented the next phase of surveillance for community acute respiratory infection in Scotland. A sentinel approach involving community assessment centres and GP practices is being used to test a representative sample of people with symptoms of respiratory infection for influenza, SARS CoV-2, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and other clinically important respiratory infections such as rhinovirus and parainfluenza.

The aim of the programme is to understand the epidemiology of these infections in order to: 

  • provide early warning to support and facilitate winter preparedness 
  • support local intelligence 
  • provide local service response and local patient clinical management 
  • support analysis of vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19, as well as influenza

When available, data will be reported on the PHS website, while further information on this surveillance project is available from the Chief Medical Officer.