Whatcom County 2019-20 Influenza Report
Weeks 51-52: December 15-28, 2019
- During weeks 51-52 there were nineteen positive influenza A tests, and two hundred thirty-six positive influenza B tests, reported by Family Care Network, Quest Diagnostics at PeaceHealth, and Sea Mar combined.
- There were fourteen hospitalizations related to influenza-like illness during weeks 51-52.
- No deaths related to influenza were reported.
- Of the number of people presenting at the emergency department during week 52, 7.86% had influenza-like illnesses.
- There were no new influenza outbreaks reported by long term care facilities in Whatcom County.
- The outpatient sentinel clinics reported seven influenza-like illness visits during week 51.
There have been 0 lab confirmed, influenza-related deaths reported in Whatcom County to date this flu season.
Syndromic Surveillance Data
The Whatcom County Health Department monitors emergency department visits at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center through the National Syndromic Surveillance Program. Of the number of people presenting at the emergency department during week 52, 7.86% had influenza-like illnesses. This is up from 4.49% of people with influenza-like illnesses during week 51.
The total number of influenza A and Influenza B tests and the percentage positive is an indicator of influenza activity in the community. The data in the table is from Family Care Network’s Point of Care Testing, Quest Diagnostics at PeaceHealth, and Sea Mar’s Point of Care Testing in Whatcom County combined.
Family Care Network, Quest Diagnostics at PeaceHealth, and Sea Mar Data:
|N(%) Positive A||1(1.1%)||8(6.1%)||5(3.5%)||10(4.1%)||10(2.6%)||9(2.2%)|
|N(%) Positive B||4(4.3%)||10(7.6%)||24(17.0%)||67(27.2%)||101(26.0%)||135(32.7%)|
Influenza reporting requirements include outbreaks of influenza-like-illness in institutional settings such as long term care facilities. Because some elderly people with influenza may not have a prominent fever, outbreaks are defined as either more acute febrile respiratory illnesses (>2 cases within 72 hours of each other) within the facility, or any resident testing positive for influenza. There were no new influenza outbreaks reported by long term care facilities in Whatcom County during weeks 51-52. There have been no outbreaks this season.
Outpatient Clinic Visits
Two Whatcom County medical practices are CDC Sentinel Influenza Surveillance sites and report weekly the number of patients seen and number of those with influenza-like-illness (ILI). ILI is defined as fever 100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C (oral or equivalent) or higher AND cough and/or sore throat [in the absence of a known cause other than influenza].
|Total visits||No Data||No Data||No Data||No Data||No Data||No Data|
|ILI visits||No Data||No Data||No Data||No Data||No Data||No Data|
|Total visits||55||22||56||63||43||No Data|
|ILI visits||1(1.8%)||4(18.2%)||1(1.8%)||3(4.8%)||7(16.3%)||No Data|
Washington State News
According to the Washington State Department of Health’s most recent influenza update, flu activity was increasing and elevated during week 49 in Washington. Eight influenza-like illness outbreaks in long term care facilities have been reported for the 2019-2020 season to date. During week 51, 7.1 percent of visits among Influenza-like illness Network participants were for influenza-like illness, above the baseline of 1.5 percent. During week 51, 28.7 percent of specimens tested by WHO/NREVSS collaborating laboratories in Washington were positive for influenza. Influenza A and Influenza B were reported during week 51. Eleven lab-confirmed influenza deaths have been reported for the 2019-2020 season to date.
University of Washington
According to the University of Washington’s most recent Virology Laboratory Respiratory Virus Detection report, there were less than ten positive influenza A tests, and forty-two positive influenza B tests, during CDC week 48.
Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality Surveillance
The most current National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) mortality surveillance data is included below for reference. Of the deaths occurring during the week ending December 14, 2019 (week 50), 5.7% were due to pneumonia and influenza. This percentage is below the epidemic threshold of 6.7% for week 50.
Links to other influenza reports
- WA State Department of Health Weekly Influenza Updates
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- Centers for Disease Control Weekly Flu View
- University of Washington Respiratory & Enteric Viruses
- World Health Organization Influenza Page
The mission of the Whatcom County Health Department is to lead the community in promoting health and preventing disease.