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Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts surveillance for people who see their health care provider for flu-like illnesses through the Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet); a network of thousands of health care providers who report the proportion of patients seeking care for flu-like illness weekly to CDC. This system allows CDC to track levels of medically attended flu-like illness over the course of the flu season. We do not know exactly how many people get sick with seasonal flu each year. There are several reasons for this including that ILINet does not include every health care provider and monitors flu-like illnesses, not laboratory-confirmed influenza cases. Also, flu illness is not a reportable disease and not everyone who gets sick with flu seeks medical care or gets tested.

Reporting Cases and Deaths

All physicians, dentists, nurses, medical examiners, hospital administrators, nursing home administrators, lab directors, school principals, and daycare directors are responsible for reporting influenza-associated deaths as a Standard Notification of Notifiable Disease in Alabama.

Influenza-associated deaths among children younger than 18 years of age and human infection with a novel influenza A virus are nationally notifiable conditions reported through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). Other influenza virus infections are not nationally notifiable but may be reported in some states.

For more information, visit REPORT (Rules for Every Provider and Organization to Report on Time).

How To Get Involved

As part of the CDC’s U.S. Outpatient Influenza-Like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet), healthcare providers in Alabama report the number of patients with ILI by age group and the total number of patients seen each week. ILI is defined as a fever that is greater than or equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) AND cough and/or sore throat (in the absence of a known cause other than influenza). There is no requirement for a positive influenza test when determining the number of patients with ILI.

If you are interested in becoming an ILINet participant, please email the Infectious & Outbreaks Diseases Division, call 1-800-338-8374, or complete the ADPH ILINet Application.

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Page last updated: November 10, 2022