Influenza (Flu) Surveillance in Vermont

Map Of Sentinel ProvidersInfluenza viruses are always circulating, and you can get sick with the flu any time of the year.  However, in Vermont and the rest of the northern hemisphere, influenza illnesses are more common during the cooler months.

Flu Surveillance

The Vermont Department of Health monitors influenza activity in the state and provides weekly surveillance information during the flu season:

More Information

This page last updated May 21, 2015

Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance (ILINet)

ILINet is a nationwide group of medical offices that act as influenza sentinels by counting the number of patients with an influenza-like illness (ILI) their practices see each week.

Sentinels then report those aggregated ILI numbers back to their state health department, where the data is analyzed and statewide activity is monitored.

Click to view the Sentinel Provider Data Chart (pdf)

Sentinel Provider Data PDF document
This chart displays the sentinel provider data reported on a weekly basis to the ILINet system.



Join the Network

Map Of Sentinel ProvidersThe Vermont Department of Health recruits medical professionals throughout the state at emergency rooms, family practices, student health centers, internal medicine offices and pediatric practices to join ILINet.

Currently, 11 medical practices are partnering with the Health Department to serve as sentinels. These sentinels are located throughout the state, with at least one practice located in each of the state’s five influenza surveillance regions.

Medical professionals in family practices, internal medicine offices, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, college student health centers or pediatric practices are invited to join the network at any time throughout the year. 

To join or for more information: Call Chelsea Dubie or Bradley Tompkins at 800-640-4374 or 802-863-7240

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Syndromic Surveillance

Health Department conducts syndromic surveillance using visit data from several emergency rooms and walk-in clinics in the state. Syndromic surveillance groups this data into various categories, or syndromes, based upon common symptoms such as cough, fever, or stomach pain. These syndromes are then monitored for trends and unusual activity.

ILI Hospital Visit Trends - icon & link to document Influenza-like Illness Hospital Visit Trends PDF document
This chart displays recent syndromic data for patient visits due to influenza-like illness.



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Laboratory Testing

Several different types of influenza can be circulating throughout the community at any one time. The Health Department Laboratory tests specimens for influenza to identify exactly which strains are currently causing illnesses in the state.

Influenza Testing by Department of Health Laboratory

 

Current Week
May 10 - 16

2014-15 Season Total
S
ep 28 - May 16

Number
Percentage
Number
Percentage

Specimens Tested

0

 
292
 

Positive Specimens

0
0%
147
50%

Positive Specimens by Type / Subtype:

Influenza A

0
0%
114
78%

A (2009 H1N1)

0
0%
0
0%

A (H1)

0
0%
0
0

A (H3)

0
0%
112
98%

A (unsubtyped)

0
0%
2
2%

Influenza B

0
0%
33
22%

More about Influenza Testing

Influenza testing at the state laboratory is for surveillance purposes only and is available free-of-charge to sentinel practices, members of the department’s syndromic surveillance network, and institutions experiencing influenza-like illness outbreaks. Other providers may request testing under special circumstances, such as caring for a patient with a serious illness or complication due to an influenza-like illness.

Institutions experiencing outbreaks of influenza-like illness or providers with special circumstances will be provided with free influenza specimen collection kits and testing.

Arrange for testing by calling the Vermont Department of Health at 800-640-4374 or 802-863-7240.

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Flu Activity Levels and Geographic Surveillance

Using the surveillance data, the Department of Health assigns a category of geographic influenza spread and reports that information to the CDC.

Vermont Flu Activity Level

Local

Activity Levels

Domestic and International Influenza Surveillance

Weekly US Influenza Report International Influenza Surveillance

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Disease Reporting

Health care providers are required by law to report diseases of public health importance.

Cases of reportable diseases should be reported to the Department of Health within 24 hours.

See also: Communicable Disease Reporting in Vermont

Persons who are required to report:

Reportable by medical providers, hospitals, school health officials:

Reportable by laboratories:

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Contact Information

Department of Health - General Information
800-464-4343 (toll free in Vermont)
802-863-7200
TTY/TDD: Dial 711 first
Fax: 802-865-7754

Epidemiology
800-640-4374 (toll free in Vermont)
802-863-7240
24 hours a day, weekends and holidays

Laboratory
800-660-9997 (toll free in Vermont)
802-863-7335

Immunization Program
800-464-4343 (toll free in Vermont)
802-863-7638

Influenza Surveillance Coordinator
800-640-4374 (toll free in Vermont)
802-863-7240

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