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1.1 Cold Weather alert
All regions in England are currently at a Level 1 Cold Weather Alert.
Prior level 2 and 3 cold weather alert periods this season have occurred from 12 January to 8 February 2015, 25 to 31 December 2014 and 11 to 13 December 2014.
In week 11 2015 (ending 15 March), indicators of influenza activity generally were at similar levels compared to the previous week, although influenza B activity appears to be increasing. The Department of Health alert issued on the prescription of antiviral medicines by GPs is still active.
1.3 Syndromic surveillance
Syndromic Surveillance report that there were further increases in GP consultations for scarlet fever during week 11 with the highest consultation rates observed in children aged 1 to 4 years.
Laboratory reports of norovirus in the current season are 12% lower overall compared to the 5 year seasonal average (from season 2009 and 2010 to season 2013 and 2014). Currently laboratory reports are at similar levels compared 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 71% 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.
1.6 All-cause mortality
In week 11 2015, significant excess all-cause mortality by week of death was seen through the EuroMOMO algorithm in England in 65 year olds and above, though this is now just above the significance threshold.
Since week 40 2014, significant excess mortality has been observed in England between week 50 2014 and week 11 2015 predominantly in 65 year olds and above, peaking in week 2 2015. This period coincides with circulating influenza and cold snaps.