Part of: Infectious Diseases and Pandemics

Related to: Ill Health and Disability

Key Facts:

  • Levels of influenza are not recorded.  It can be observed that B&NES has a higher take-up of seasonal flu vaccine in people over 65 than nationally.  However, take-up rates of other vulnerable groups and pregnant women are lower.
  • It is estimated that there are 1,200 incidents of pnemonia in the area each year, these peaked in 2009 which may be related to the swine flu epidemic
  • premature deaths (in terms of potential years of life lost) from influenza and pneumonia is significantly lower in B&NES CCG compared to the national average.
  • Incidence of and mortality from Teberculosis are lower than national rates.

Some of the most common infectious diseases in the UK are respiratory infections, these include, influenza, pneumonia, and less commonly, tuberculosis.

Influenza 1

  • Influenza is not a notifiable disease and  therefore prevalence rates are difficult to obtain. Hospital admissions can give some idea of patterns of influenza. Generally, hospital admissions for flu are low but rates experienced an extremely large increase in 2009 which is almost certainly due to the swine flu epidemic. Since 2009 rates have decreased but not to previous low levels.

  • For healthy people, influenza does not pose any significant health risks but for the elderly, pregnant women or people in at risk groups it can be more serious, therefore vaccination is recommended for these people.

  • For several years B&NES has consistently had higher take up of the seasonal flu vaccine in people aged 65 and over compared to the national uptake.

  • Rates of flu vaccination in at risk groups (48%) and pregnant women (35%) however, are below national rates, not reaching the targets set by the department of health (70%) and there is significant variation between practices 2 (see figure 2).

Rates of flu vaccine uptake of at risk and under 65 - bar graph 

Figure 2: Percent of patients 'at risk' & under 65 receiving flu vaccine by practice, Sep 2011 to Jan 2012

Uptake of Flu vaccine in at risk groups can be viewed by specific conditions in Table 1:





CHD patients given flu immunisation 1 Sep - 31 Mar (2010/11)

Influenza immunisation given 1 Sep-31 Mar (2010/11)

Influenza immunisation given 1 Sep - 31 Mar (2010/11)

Influenza immunisation given 1 Sep - 31 Mar (2010/11)

In line nationally (92.9% B&NES, 92.4% national)

B&NES inline nationally (89.4%, 89.6% national)

92.3% B&NES, 93.2% national

B&NES 91.0%, 90.7% national

Significantly low within B&NES by surgery Oldfield lowest (82.4%) also sig. low Number 18 and The Pulteney Practice (national 92.4%) no cluster signfucantly low, lowest is Bath West

Pulteney Practice significantly low 82.8% (national 89.6%) no cluster significantly low, lowest is Bath West

Number 18 lowest (82.3%) also significantly low Somerton House - Bath West cluster significantly low amongst clusters (89.8%)

Number 18 lowest 80.7% also sig low Riverside and Westfield – Bath West cluster significantly low amongst clusters (88%, national 92%)

Table 1: Uptake of Flu vaccine in at risk groups.


There are approximately 1,200 hospital admissions for pneumonia a year in B&NES residents. Hospital admissions for pneumonia peaked in 2009, which could be linked to the swine flu outbreak at this time.

Influenza and Pneumonia

In terms of potential Years of Life Lost (YLL), B&NES CCG has a significantly lower rate of annual years of life lost to influenza and pneumonia compared to the comparable rate for England - see Major Causes of Mortality (Premature Mortality) for further information.


Incidence of tuberculosis in B&NES is lower than nationally (5-10 three-year average case rates in 2008-2010) (UK rate of 13.6 cases per 100,000 population 2010) 3

Mortality from tuberculosis is very low in B&NES; 0.2 per 100,000 (2008-2010), national rates are 0.4 per 100,000 and regionally 0.3 per 100,000) 4