© Crown copyright 2015
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: email@example.com.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/winter-health-watch-summary-26-march-2015/winter-health-watch-summary-18-december-2014
All regions of England are at Cold Weather Alert Level 1 ‘winter preparedness and action’. On 11 December 2014 the Met Office issued a Level 2 Cold Weather Alert for North East England, North West England and Yorkshire and Humber; but returned to Level 1 on 13 December 2014.
Syndromic surveillance report indicators for influenza, including GP consultations for influenza-like illness, continued to increase across all syndromic systems during week 50. GP consultations for severe asthma have continued to increase; levels are now slightly higher than those expected, particularly in 5 to14 year olds.
In week 50 2014 (ending 14 December), across indicators influenza activity increased nationally and is now at low intensity levels. The Department of Health have now issued an alert on the prescription of antiviral medicines by GPs.
The number of laboratory reports of norovirus in the season to date is 6% higher overall than the 5 year seasonal average (from season 2009 and 2010 to season 2013 and 2014). However, laboratory reports are currently at similar levels to the same weeks in previous years. Reports of outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting in hospitals continue to be reported at similar levels to previous years.
Rotavirus activity is low; laboratory reports are slightly lower than the 10 season average (from season 2003 to 2004 to season 2012 to 2013). The decreased rotavirus activity is likely to be associated with the introduction of the oral vaccine in July 2013 .
In week 50 2014, no excess all-cause mortality by week of death was seen in England through the EuroMOMO algorithm.
2. Surveillance reports updated weekly
3. Further information
4. Planning resources
 PHE have recently introduced a new laboratory reporting system so direct comparisons between norovirus and rotavirus data from the previous system (LabBase2) and the new system (SGSS) may not be valid.