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.
- The proportion of NHS24 calls for respiratory symptoms in week 24 was at Baseline activity level overall. The 5-14, 15-44, 45-64, 65-74 and over 75 age groups remained at Baseline activity level. The 1-4 age group decreased from Low to Baseline activity level. The under 1 age group increased from Low to Moderate activity level.
- In week 24, there were 21 influenza cases: 17 type A (subtype unknown), one type A(H1N1)pdm09, two type A(H3) and one type B.
- In week 24, adenovirus, coronavirus (non-SARS-CoV-2), HMPV, RSV, rhinovirus and Mycoplasma pneumoniae were at Baseline activity level. Parainfluenza was at Low activity level.
- The number of laboratory-confirmed RSV cases for week 24 is greater than what would be expected at this time of the year. In the under 5 years age group, RSV activity level increased from Baseline to Low activity level. The majority (85%) of RSV detections in week 24 were in those aged under 5 years and the majority (90%) of diagnoses across all age groups occurred in the hospital setting.
- The hospitalisation rate for influenza was 0.2 per 100,000 in week 24, with the highest hospital admission rate for confirmed influenza noted in patients aged 75+ years (1.1 per 100,000). The highest hospitalisation rate for influenza this season was reported in week 11 (1.3 per 100,000). The vaccination programme ended, as it does every year, on the 31st March. The final data presented here indicate that for season 2021/22 at least 2,706,968 eligible individuals are estimated to have received their flu vaccine. The estimated flu vaccine uptake across Scotland is 70.9%. This includes all individuals in the childhood flu vaccine programme plus adults aged 18-49 years who are at risk, all adults aged 50 years and over and pregnant women.
Surveillance of respiratory 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 respiratory illnesses vary 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 a number of 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 flu season. Please see the influenza page on the HPS website (external website) for more details.
The next release of this publication will be 30 June 2022.
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