Influenza and other viral respiratory surveillance

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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 influenza and other acute respiratory illness surveillance systems and methods.

In addition to tracking cases of acute respiratory illnesses like 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, Te Whatu Ora, and the wider health sector prepare for intense seasons, influenza pandemics, surges in COVID-19 infection and the emergence of novel viruses. Surveillance activities are funded by the Public Health Agency at the Ministry of Health.

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.  

Below is our current dashboard, you can find previous dashboards here, and scroll further for the last five years of reports related to influenza and respiratory surveillance. Older reports can be found in the Archive.

If you wish to express your interest in becoming a Sentinel GP practice for our respiratory surveillance programme, please email us at: You can also view our Sentinel GP resources page for more information.

Below is ESR's respiratory dashboard, and you can also view Te Whatu Ora's COVID-19 Trends and Insights dashboard, and Manatū Hauora's flu vaccine uptake statistics on their websites. 


There are multiple tabs of this dashboard. To navigate between them, click the grey tabs at the top of the dashboard below. Further tips on how to use the dashboard can be found by hovering over the  icon on each tab.




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.



Southern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) projects launched in 2012 to address important questions regarding influenza and other respiratory viruses. The programme includes WellKiwis which has collected samples from participants immediately before, during and now following the global COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about SHIVERS projects including WellKiwis here.


More information about the flu

For more information about the flu visit: