Flu surveillance and research

ESR's multi-disciplinary team of scientists work together to monitor flu trends, advise the health sector, and address critical questions regarding the epidemiology, costs, virology, and immunology of influenza and other respiratory viruses.

Influenza surveillance and intelligence reporting

ESR maintains a number of surveillance systems to provide a timely and comprehensive understanding of respiratory virus activity and severity in New Zealand. Learn more about the Influenza (flu) and other respiratory virus surveillance systems and methods used for sample testing and analysis.

In addition to tracking cases of acute respiratory illnesses and influenza, ESR's public health experts characterise respiratory viruses and viral strains, assess the effectiveness of influenza control measures, and synthesise influenza surveillance data into intelligence. This information helps the Ministry of Health, the District Health Boards, and the wider health sector prepare for intense seasons, influenza pandemics, and the emergence of novel viruses such as SARS or MERS. Surveillance activities are funded by the Ministry of Health(external link).

As a key advisor on a number of World Health Organisation (WHO) influenza working groups, ESR shares expertise to improve influenza surveillance internationally. ESR contributes to the WHO Pandemic Influenza Severity Assessment and the Global Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness group. 

Current influenza surveillance intelligence

The dashboards below are best viewed in a Chrome browser.


Additional influenza reports

Influenza intelligence reports(external link)

Previous Intelligence and Dashboards 

Laboratory virologic surveillance and historic influenza surveillance reports (external link)

World Health Organisation National Influenza Centre at ESR

ESR hosts one of two WHO NIC, influenza reference laboratories, in New Zealand. It has been nominated by the Ministry of Health and recognised by WHO since 1954. The NIC meets the WHO terms of reference and provides regular influenza virus isolates to WHO Collaborating Centres. For influenza virological surveillance, the NIC provides both primary diagnostic and reference testing for seasonal influenza and potential pandemic influenza viruses. The NIC testing includes molecular based typing and subtyping, antigenic typing, viral isolation, antiviral resistant testing, and anti-haemagglutinin and anti-neuraminidase antibody testing.

 The NIC at ESR is one of the global influenza reference laboratories that contribute to annual recommendations for the Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccine composition.


SHIVERS-II logoSouthern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) projects launched in 2012 to address important questions regarding influenza and other respiratory viruses. Read more about SHIVERS projects.

More information about the flu

For more information about the flu visit: