About this release

This weekly release by Public Health Scotland presents epidemiological information on respiratory infection activity, including COVID-19, across Scotland.

As part of our continuous review of reporting, Public Health Scotland will merge the weekly COVID-19 statistical report and National Respiratory Infection report into one publication from Thursday 02 February 2023. We aim to release a new interactive dashboard as part of the new publication, providing key summary statistics and trend information

Main points

Weekly respiratory main points

Overall assessment:

  • The proportion of NHS24 calls that were for respiratory symptoms remained at Baseline activity level overall.
  • The incidence rate of influenza has decreased to Low activity level overall.
    • There were 243 influenza cases: 183 type A (not subtyped), 37 A(H3), 9 A(H1N1)pdm09 and 14 type B. This compares to 562 laboratory-confirmed cases reported during week 02.
    • Influenza by age: The under 1, 1-4, 5-14, 15-44 and 45-64 age groups decreased from Moderate to Low activity level. The 65-74 and over 75 age groups remained at Moderate activity level
    • Influenza by NHS Board: four NHS Boards were at Baseline, Seven NHS boards were at Low, two were at Moderate, and one (NHS Shetland) was at High activity level.
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae and parainfluenza remained at Baseline activity level. Adenovirus and rhinovirus decreased from Low to Baseline activity level.
  • HMPV and seasonal coronavirus (non-SARS-CoV-2) decreased from Moderate to Low activity level.
  • RSV remained at Low activity level. The number of laboratory-confirmed RSV cases was 112. This compares with 188 laboratory-confirmed cases in week 02.
  • The hospitalisation rate for influenza peaked at 27.1 per 100,000 in week 51 2022 and   gradually reduced since then to 4.0 per 100,000 in week 02 2023.  The highest hospital admission rate in week 02 for confirmed influenza was amongst patients aged 75 and over (16.2 per 100,000), followed by those aged one to four years old (10.7 per 100,000).
  • The hospitalisation rate for RSV was 1.4 per 100,000 in week 02 2023, with the highest hospital admission rate for confirmed RSV was noted in patients aged one to four years old (10.2 per 100,000). The hospitalisation rate for RSV peaked in week 48 2022 (4.3 per 100,000).
  • In the Community Acute Respiratory Infection (CARI) sentinel surveillance system carried out at general practices across Scotland, rhinovirus has been the highest circulating pathogen in the community since the start of the season in week 40, and has had the highest swab positivity until week 48 (over all swab positivity at 18.4%), followed by influenza A, which has the highest swab positivity in the last five weeks (overall swab positivity at 22.2%), and RSV, which has been high since week 40 but has started to decrease in the recent weeks (overall swab positivity at 10.0%).
  • Influenza vaccine data show that at the end of week 03, an estimated total of 2,520,535 individuals have received their vaccine. This includes 1,928,731 eligible adults of whom 959,182 are aged 65 years and over. In addition, 90.1% of those receiving their COVID winter booster and eligible for flu vaccine have received both vaccines at the same appointment. More detailed data for the 2022/23 winter programme are available on the PHS flu and COVID winter vaccination dashboard.
  • All-cause excess mortality for week 52 (the latest week not impacted by reporting delays) remained at High activity level. There was an increase in the 0-4 age group to Moderate activity level. The 15-64 and 65 and above age groups remained at Moderate activity level and the 5-14 age group remained at Baseline activity level. Although data for the most recent weeks are still incomplete, all-cause mortality in weeks 01 and 02 remains elevated in the 65+ age group. Further examination of the cause of death in these individuals reveals that the excess in the numbers of deaths are increasingly due to respiratory causes.

COVID weekly main points

  • In Scotland, in the week ending 10 January 2023, the estimated number of people testing positive for COVID-19 was 171,500 (95% credible interval: 147,700 to 197,000), equating to 3.26% of the population, or around 1 in 30 people (Source: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK - Office for National Statistics)
  • In the week ending 22 January 2023, there were on average 891 patients in hospital with COVID-19, a 22.3% decrease from the previous week ending 15 January 2023 (1,147)
  • In the week ending 22 January 2023 there were 9 new admissions to Intensive Care Units (ICUs) with a laboratory confirmed test of COVID-19, a decrease of 10 from the previous week (15 January 2023)
  • By week ending 22 January 2023 of the 1,981,281 people vaccinated for COVID-19 as part of the Winter 2022 vaccination programme, 90.1% were vaccinated for Flu at the same vaccination appointment
  • In the week ending 15 January 2023, there were 101 deaths involving COVID-19 (17 more than the previous week) (Source: National Records of Scotland)
  • As at 16 January 2023, the number of people waiting for a social care assessment was just over 7,500

Background

Weekly national respiratory report:

Surveillance of respiratory infection is a key public health activity as it is associated with significant morbidity and mortality during the winter months and particularly in those at risk of complications of influenza, e.g., the elderly, those with chronic health problems and pregnant women.

The spectrum of respiratory illnesses varies from asymptomatic illness to mild/moderate symptoms to severe complications including death. There is no single respiratory surveillance component that can describe the onset, severity and impact of influenza or the success of its control measures each season across a community.

This requires several complementary surveillance components which are either specific to respiratory infections or their control, or which are derived from data streams providing information of utility for other PHS specialities (corporate surveillance data). Together, the respiratory surveillance components provide a comprehensive and coherent picture on a timely basis throughout the winter respiratory season. influenza page on the HPS website (external website) for more details.

COVID-19 weekly statistical report:

Since the start of the outbreak, Public Health Scotland (PHS) has been monitoring a number of key indicators to assess the impact of the virus, including demands on the health system.

This report summarises the current COVID-19 data in Scotland, presenting statistics on estimated infection levels from the ONS COVID Infection Survey, wastewater infection levels, reported COVID-19 cases, COVID-19 hospital and ICU admissions and Flu and COVID-19 Winter 2022 Vaccination Programme uptake.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be 2 February 2023.

General enquiries

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

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

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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: 25 January 2023
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