NSW Health has just released its Weekly Influenza Epidemiology Report, as at 29th July. This is a fascinating report looking at the surveillance results for influenza in NSW over the past week. The full report is available here. As we did last week, we’ll pull some interesting graphs from it.
Historically high numbers continue to present at Emergency Departments
Firstly, let’s look at the number of people presenting each week to NSW Emergency Departments with “Influenza-like Illness”. The 52 weeks ended yesterday is the black line. Equivalent periods for the past 5 years are the other coloured lines.
As you can see, despite the fall in the last week, the number of people presenting to Emergency Departments is still much higher than for the same period in any of the last 5 years.
What age groups are getting most affected?
And now, let’s look at how different age groups are being affected by this virus compared to a “normal” seasonal influenza. This graph shows the age distribution of those people admitted to hospital with confirmed H1N1 (09), compared to the average age distribution of those people admitted to hospital over the last five years with “normal” seasonal influenza. In the words of this week’s report:
There is a shift towards young and middle-aged adults in those admitted to hospital with H1N1 influenza 09, compared to those admitted to hospital with normal seasonal influenza over the previous 5 years.