Influenzanet is a system to monitor the activity of influenza-like-illness (ILI) with the aid of volunteers via the internet
Keep checking here to see findings from this year's Flusurvey.
Above you can see the weekly incidence reported by Flusurvey. Last week (week seventeen) reports of flu-like illness continued to fall in all age groups. It is looking like we managed to avoid a bad flu season this year!
So far this year there has been very little flu around. Here you can track how much flu-like illness our participants are reporting this year compared to last year. Although rates of flu-like illness are rising, we still have much less than this time last year.
The figure below shows where Flusurvey participants are based. London, the South, and the East are well represented, but we would like to get a larger proportion from the North, Scotland and Wales. We'd also like to have more children involved, please tell your friends!
In the seventeenth week of this year's flu season, rates of flu-like illness were generally low. The highest rates of flu like illness were in South Central and Southwest England, , and the East Midlands. The lowest levels this week were in Yorkshire and the Humber and Wales. This week we had very few reports from Northern Ireland and the Northeast so it is difficult to say what is going on in these regions.
This figure shows the proportion of Flusurvey participants positive for a flu-like illness in the 2012-2013 flu season who sought care from a health professional. Blue bars represent participants that visited a health professional, red lines participants who either visited a health professional or called a help line.
This figure shows the pattern of flu-like illness reported by last year's Flusurvey participants. The grey shading shows the school holidays. Over the season you can see the peaks in illness, and the effect that school holidays had on stopping the epidemic. The bottom graph shows % positivity of cases of lab confirmed flu (data provided by the Respiratory DataMart System is a laboratory surveillance tool to monitor influenza and other respiratory viruses based on collated lab results from a network of Public Health England (PHE) and NHS laboratories in England. Respiratory swabs from primary and secondary care are tested for a variety of viruses using real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays. Weekly results are published in the PHE National Influenza Report /)
Above you can see the most frequently reported symptoms last year. The word cloud shows that runny noses and coughs were the commonest symptoms. Fortunately for Flusurvey users, vomiting and chest pain were rarely reported.
These results show that there was no increased chance of reporting a flu-like illness in participants who took public transport as compared to participants who did not take public transport. This finding was the same all across Europe.
The figure below shows the distribution of reported health scores in healthy participants, participants with colds, and participants with influenza-like illness (ILI). Scores reported by men are in blue, by women in pink. It's clear that people with ILI report lower health than people with cold symptoms or no symptoms, but the scores are not noticeably different for men and women. We haven't found any evidence that men are likely to report feeling worse when they're ill; if anything, women seem to report lower health scores.