Douglas County Flu Surveillance

Influenza, more commonly known as flu, is currently not a reportable disease to the health department. Therefore, it is often difficult for the health department to accurately track influenza rates as it moves through the county and the state. One indicator used for flu surveillance is the presentation of influenza-like illness (ILI) patients at health care facilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza-like illness is defined as a patient with a fever above 100 degrees with a sore throat and/or cough without a known cause other than influenza. We encourage anyone 6 months and older to get a flu shot because it is the best protection against the flu.

Emergency Department Influenza Surveillance

Data in this section is from the Kansas Syndromic Surveillance Program. These charts will be updated weekly through April 2019, when flu season typically ends. The data fluctuates based on hospital reporting.
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The data below represents total counts by whether a patient was admitted to the hospital or discharged from the emergency department by age group.  The data represents Douglas County resident visits to any emergency department in Kansas for the 2017-2018 flu season to date.

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The data below represents the proportion of visits by Douglas County residents to any emergency department in Kansas by CDC-defined age group.

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Data collection was supported by the Grant or Cooperative Agreement Number 1 U50 OE000069-01, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

Clinic Visits due to Influence-like Illness

Each week health care providers from across the state of Kansas who participate in the ILINet program submit the number of patients presenting with ILI illness. The program is a collaboration between the CDC, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and local health care providers. If you are a local health care agency and wish to participate in the ILINet program, please feel free to contact the health department at 785-843-3060.

Data on ILI patients seen the previous week are submitted to KDHE. The below chart shows the percentage of ILI visits reported by week for both Northeast Kansas and Kansas. This chart will be updated weekly through 2018-2019 flu season. The data fluctuates based on health provider reporting.

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Deaths Associated with Flu and Pneumonia in Douglas County

The below data represent deaths in Douglas County each week that are due to pneumonia and/or influenza. The data are presented as crude rates (rate per 100,000) based on Douglas County’s 2016 population. The orange bar represents the total death rate by week for Douglas County, while the blue line represents the rate of deaths due to pneumonia and/or influenza. This chart will be updated weekly throughout the 2017-2018 influenza season. Three deaths due to pneumonia and/or influenza occurred this flu season before we began receiving information.

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The chart below shows the causes of deaths in Douglas County. Pneumonia and influenza comprised roughly 2 percent of all deaths in Douglas County from 2010-2015 and is considered to be a Top 10 cause of death.

Flu Vaccination

The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a yearly flu vaccine. Getting the vaccination is the most effective way to avoid getting the flu. Those most at-risk are infants and young children, older adults and pregnant women; however, flu is unpredictable and even healthy children and adults can get the flu.

The Health Department, 200 Maine St., offers flu shots on a walk-in basis during clinic hours. No appointment is necessary. The Health Department accepts private insurance, Medicare Part B, Medicaid and KanCare insurance plans.

Flu vaccination policies in health care settings

At the beginning of the 2017-2018 influenza season, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department leadership integrated a mandatory influenza vaccination requirement for all staff into its wellness policy. If your organization is in the health care field and it does not have an influenza vaccination policy, the Health Department encourages implementing one to help prevent influenza.

These downloadable documents can help in your efforts:

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