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, over the comings months Public Health Scotland will be implementing some changes to present a consolidated weekly respiratory publication.

Main points

Weekly respiratory main points

  • The proportion of NHS24 calls for respiratory symptoms remained at Low activity level overall.
  • Influenza incidence remained at Moderate activity level overall.
    • There were 375 influenza cases: 315 type A (subtype unknown), 19 A(H1N1)pdm09, 28 A(H3) and 13 nine B.
  • Seasonal coronavirus (non-SARS-CoV-2), Mycoplasma pneumoniae and parainfluenza remained at Baseline activity level.
  • HMPV remained at Low activity level.
  • Adenovirus, RSV and rhinovirus decreased from Moderate to Low activity level.
  • The number of laboratory-confirmed RSV cases was 240. This compares with 318 laboratory-confirmed cases in week 46.
    • Two NHS Boards were at Baseline, seven were at Low, four were at Moderate and one (NHS Shetland) was at Extraordinary activity level
    • The under 1 and 1-4 age groups remained at Low activity level. The 65-74 and over 75 age groups remained at Moderate activity level. The 45-64 age group decreased from High to Moderate activity level. The 5-14 and 15-44 age groups decreased from Extraordinary to High activity level.
    • The highest number (47.5%) of RSV detections in week 47 were in those aged under 5 years, followed by those aged 75 and over (18.3%). The majority (82.1%) of diagnoses across all age groups occurred in the hospital setting.
  • The hospitalisation rate for influenza has been generally increasing since week 25 and was 2.5 per 100,000 in week 46, with the highest hospital admission rate for confirmed influenza noted in patients aged less than one year old (10.3 per 100,000). The current hospitalisation rate for influenza is lower than that for the five previous seasons prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The hospitalisation rate for RSV was 2.8 per 100,000 in week 46, with the highest hospital admission rate for confirmed RSV noted in patients aged less than one year old (131.6 per 100,000). The hospitalisation rate for RSV peaked in week 38 and 39 in 2021 (4.5 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 since the start of the season and has the highest swab positivity in week 47. This was followed by RSV and influenza, both of which have decreased from week 46.
  • Influenza vaccine data for the 2022/23 winter programme are now available on the PHS flu and COVID winter vaccination dashboard. These data indicate that at the end of week 47, an estimated total of 2,206,764 individuals have received their vaccine.¬† This includes 1,745,927 eligible adults of whom 944,171 are aged 65 years and over. In addition, 91.2% of those receiving their COVID winter booster and eligible for flu vaccine have received both vaccines at the same appointment.
  • All-cause excess mortality remained at Baseline activity level overall, and in all age categories.

COVID weekly main points

  • In Scotland, in the week ending 15 November 2022, the estimated number of people testing positive for COVID-19 was 83,700 (95% credible interval: 67,000 to 102,500), equating to 1.59% of the population, or around 1 in 65 people (Source: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK - Office for National Statistics (external link))
  • In the week ending 20 November 2022, there were 40 deaths involving COVID-19 (7 fewer than the previous week) (Source: National Records of Scotland (external link))
  • In the week ending 27 November 2022, there were on average 570 patients in hospital with COVID-19, a 5.9% decrease from the previous week ending 20 November 2022 (606)
  • In the week ending 27 November 2022 there were 10 new admissions to Intensive Care Units (ICUs) with a laboratory confirmed test of COVID-19, an increase of 2 from the previous week (20 November 2022)
  • By week ending 27 November 2022 of the 1,784,619 people vaccinated for COVID-19 as part of the Winter 2022 vaccination programme, 91.2% were vaccinated for Flu at the same vaccination appointment

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, reproduction (R) number, 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 7 December 2022

General enquiries

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

Media enquiries

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

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

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: 05 May 2023
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