Friday, July 17, 2009

Weekly pandemic flu update

16 July 2009

  • GP consultation rates in England for individuals presenting with flu-like illness show increased rates, above the threshold level for normal seasonal flu activity and higher than the peak activity in winter 08/09.
  • The under-5s and 5-14 year olds are the age groups predominantly affected.
  • The majority of cases continue to be mild with 26 deaths in England to date.
  • HPA estimates that there were 55,000 new cases of swine flu last week (range 30,000 - 85,000).
This estimate is based on latest weekly consultation rates for flu-like illness, taking into consideration positivity rates for swine flu H1N1 from HPA's virological sampling and a range of assumptions related to the numbers of people attending their GP.
Following the move from laboratory testing for confirmation of swine flu (H1N1v) to clinical diagnosis of cases, the level of flu in the community is being monitored using a range of surveillance mechanisms. These enable HPA to accurately estimate flu levels, monitor new and emerging viruses and identify trends in activity. Our experience over many flu seasons means we can confidently continue to monitor the incidence and distribution of this pandemic virus over the summer and beyond.

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