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Influenza Season 2014-2015

Information for Health Care Providers

***CALL FOR SENTINEL PROVIDERS***Clinicians (MD, DO, PA, NP, RN) with regular direct patient contact, your assistance is needed! Please join the Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) for the 2014-15 season. For more information on becoming a sentinel provider, please contact the state influenza surveillance coordinator - Kemi Oni at 515-725-2136 or email to oluwakemi.oni@idph.iowa.gov.

Outpatient Influenza-Like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet)

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) participates in the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local health departments, and volunteer sentinel providers across the county. ILINet consists of more than 3,000 surveillance sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands reporting over 25 million patient visits each year. Data provided by the ILINet providers, in combination with other influenza surveillance data, provide a national picture of influenza virus and ILI activity in the U.S.

Who can be an ILINet Provider?

Providers of any specialty (e.g., family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, infectious disease) in any type of practice (e.g., private practice, public health clinic, urgent care center, emergency room, university student health center) are eligible to be ILINet providers.

What data do ILINet providers collect and how is this information reported?

ILINet providers report each week the total number of patient visits and the number of patient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) by age group (0-4 years, 5-24 years, 25-49 years, 50-64 years, >65 years).

These data are transmitted once a week via the Internet to a central data repository at CDC. Most providers report that it takes them less than 30 minutes a week to compile & report their data.

Why Volunteer?

Influenza viruses are constantly evolving and cause substantial morbidity and mortality (approximately 36,000 deaths) every year. Data from sentinel providers are critical for monitoring the impact of influenza and, in combination with other influenza surveillance data, can be used to guide prevention and control activities, vaccine strain selection, and patient care. Sentinel providers receive feedback on the data submitted, summaries of regional and national influenza data, and a free subscription to CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and Emerging Infectious Diseases journal. The most important consideration is that the data provided are critical for protecting the public’s health.

Patient Education

For additional information for patients, please see the General Public and Vaccine Information pages.

Brochures and posters are available through the Clearinghouse and CDC Flu Gallery.