VIRUS SURVEILLANCE SUMMARY UPDATE
ending October 12, 2002-Week 41
Blackmore, M.S. Vet. Med., Ph.D..
Florida Sentinel Physician Influenza
The Florida Sentinel Physicians Influenza Surveillance program is underway for
the 2002-2003 influenza season. We have 103 primary care physicians and other
health care providers from 30 counties enrolled this year. Reporting packages
have been sent out to all participants and laboratory supplies were mailed this
week. As usual, county health department staff have been instrumental in getting
the word out about the surveillance program in their respective communities.
Thank you all for your hard work!!! Influenza
surveillance reports will be published weekly in the Epi Update. If you are
interested in tracking the reports from providers in your county, please let me
know and I will email you the data each week.
Influenza Virus Culture and PCR
Monitoring for influenza virus outbreaks is another important component of a
comprehensive influenza surveillance program. To help us in this effort Dr Amy
Smith at the Jacksonville lab has developed a PCR assay that can detect and
distinguish influenza A and B. The purpose of the test is to provide a rapid
diagnosis, important for the development of effective outbreak management
strategies and especially when antiviral treatment is considered. The test will
be offered, in conjunction with influenza virus isolation testing, by the Bureau
of Laboratories in Jacksonville and Tampa. Kits with laboratory supplies for
influenza testing are available and either lab can ship them to your county
health departments upon request. The turnaround time for the PCR assay is
approximately 2 days.
Influenza Outbreak Reporting
Suspected influenza outbreaks are reportable to the Bureau of Epidemiology.
Information about influenza outbreaks around the state will be included in the
weekly Epi Update influenza surveillance summaries. The Bureau of Epidemiology
also reports influenza outbreaks to CDC. Please
email the reports to me at the following address: Carina_Blackmore@doh.state.fl.us
Influenza surveillance Results for Week Ending
October 12 (week 41)
Surveillance results from week 41 indicate that influenza activity is
still low nationwide. Influenza-like illness (ILI) was diagnosed in 1.2% of the
patients visiting sentinel providers this week, which is lower than the national
baseline of 1.9%. In Florida the proportion of patient visits due to ILI was
0.7%. Influenza A(H1N1) was reported from North Carolina. No laboratory
confirmed cases of influenza have been reported in Florida this season.