Published Date: 2011-11-01 19:28:39
Subject: PRO/EDR> Influenza (62): Australia (QL), clarification
Archive Number: 20111101.3250
INFLUENZA (62): AUSTRALIA (QUEENSLAND), CLARIFICATION
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Tue 1 Nov 2011
From: Alan W Hampson [edited]
Re: Influenza (59): Australia (QL) 20111020.3125
Your recent post of a news byline may have incorrectly suggested a
recent rise in influenza cases in Australia and also that the State of
Queensland suffered more influenza than other parts of the country.
It is unclear what prompted the recent news report as influenza peaked
in August this year  as it commonly does. The report did
accurately indicate that of the last decade, during which
laboratory-diagnosed influenza has been a reportable disease in
Australia, the number of reported cases this year was 2nd only to the
pandemic year 2009.
The issue raised by the moderator regarding the incidence in
Queensland, and not just for this year, has been the subject of a
recent publication [S. B. Lambert, C. E. Faux, K. A. Grant, S. H.
Williams, C. Bletchly, M. G. Catton, D. W. Smith, and H. A. Kelly.
Influenza surveillance in Australia: we need to do more than count.
Med J Aust. 193 (1):43-45, 2010] and it is widely considered that this
is a testing artifact.
For anyone who is interested detailed reports of the 2011 Australian
influenza season are available though the Australian Government web
And detailed statistics are available at:
Dr. Alan W. Hampson, MSc., Hon M.D. (Melb), FASM, OAM
Chairman, Australian Influenza Specialist Group
Suite 1222, 1 Queens Road
Melbourne Victoria 3004
[For convenience Dr. Hampson has extracted relevant statistics which
may be of interest to ProMED-mail readers. These could not easily be
transcribed here and should be requested directly from Dr. Hampson
ProMED-mail thanks Dr Hampson for resolving the discordance between
the press report and the official statistics.
The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Queensland can be
http://healthmap.org/r/1oxd. - Mod.CP]