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All regions of England have been at Cold Weather Alert Level 1 ‘winter preparedness and action’ since 1 November 2014.
Syndromic surveillance indicates nothing new to report. Selected respiratory indicators continued to rise during week 46 across all systems, including emergency department attendances for acute respiratory infection and NHS 111 calls for difficulty breathing. These rises were particularly noted in infants, in line with seasonally expected increases in laboratory reports for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Influenza activity is at low levels in week 46 2014 (ending 16 November), however RSV continues to circulate, predominantly in under 5 year olds.
The number of laboratory reports of norovirus in the season to date is higher overall than the 5 year seasonal average (from season 2009 and 2010 to season 2013 and 2014). However, the number of laboratory reports in the last 3 weeks is similar to the average. 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 46 2014, no excess all-cause mortality by week of death was seen in England through the EuroMOMO algorithm.