Like the US, Canada, and much of western Europe, the numbers in the UK (consultations, illnesses, hospitalizations) are all decreasing.
Few public health officials are ready, however, to declare this pandemic anywhere near over. There are still at least 4 months remaining in the traditional flu season, and additional waves of infections are certainly possible.
17 December 2009
- The consultation rate for flu-like illness in England from the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) scheme has decreased slightly to 29.7 per 100,000 in week 50 compared to 33.1 in week 49. This is just below the English baseline threshold of 30/100,000.
- The estimated cases self referring to the National Pandemic Flu Service have shown decreases in all areas of assessments, authorisations and collections. This is across all regions and most age groups.
- Interpretation of data to produce estimates on the number of new cases continues to be subject to a considerable amount of uncertainty. HPA modelling gives an estimate of 9,000 new cases in England last week (range 5,000 to 19,000) which represents a small decrease from the previous week.
This estimate incorporates data from National Pandemic Flu Service and GP consultations.
- The HPA estimates a cumulative total number of cases of 780,000 (with a range 370,000 to 1,625,000) since the pandemic began.
Following the move from laboratory testing for confirmation of swine flu to clinical diagnosis of cases, the level of flu in the community is being monitored using a range of surveillance mechanisms, including the RCGP consultation rates, QSurveillance®, and the National Pandemic Flu Service.
A more detailed UK weekly epidemiology update can be accessed at:
Figure 1: Current estimated weekly RCGP consultation rates of flu-like illness
Figure 4: QSurveillance influenza-like illness rate by age band in week 50 (ending 13 December)
The latest weekly flu-like illness rates show that the highest flu-like illness consultation rates were in the <1 and 1-4 year-old age bands. Compared with week 49, this week (week 50) rates have decreased in all age bands. The largest decrease (23%) is in the <1 year age band.