Influenza epidemiology in patients admitted to sentinel Australian hospitals in 2015: the Influenza Complications Alert Network

Allen C Cheng, Mark Holmes, Dominic E. Dwyer, Louis B. Irving, Tony M Korman, Sanjaya Senenayake, Kristine K. Macartney, Christopher C. Blyth, Simon Brown, Grant Waterer, Robert Hewer, N. Deborah Friedman, Peter A. Wark, Graham Simpson, John Upham, Simon D. Bowler, Albert Lessing, Tom Kotsimbos, Paul M. Kelly

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The Influenza Complications Alert Network (FluCAN) is a sentinel hospital-based surveillance program that operates at sites in all states and territories in Australia. This report summarises the epidemiology of hospitalisations with laboratory-confirmed influenza during the 2015 influenza season. In this observational study, cases were defined as patients admitted to one of the sentinel hospitals with an acute respiratory illness with influenza confirmed by nucleic acid detection. During the period 1 April to 30 October 2015 (the 2015 influenza season), 2,070 patients were admitted with confirmed influenza to one of 17 FluCAN sentinel hospitals. Of these, 46% were elderly (≥ 65 years), 15% were children (< 16 years), 5% were Indigenous Australians, 2.1% were pregnant and 75% had chronic co-morbidities. A high proportion were due to influenza B (51%). There were a large number of hospital admissions detected with confirmed influenza in this national observational surveillance system in 2015 with case numbers similar to that reported in 2014. The national immunisation program is estimated to avert 46% of admissions from confirmed influenza across all at-risk groups, but more complete vaccination coverage in target groups could further reduce influenza admissions by as much as 14%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E521-E526
Number of pages6
JournalCommunicable Diseases Intelligence Quarterly Report
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2016


  • influenza
  • hospitalisation
  • morbidity
  • FluCAN

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