Denton County Influenza Surveillance

DCPH Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report for Week 2 (1/5/20 – 1/11/20).

High influenza activity was reported in Denton County for week 2. Denton County sentinel providers reported that there were 560 influenza tests performed during week 2, resulting in 156 positive influenza tests (77 Flu A and 79 Flu B) and 20 hospitalizations. Syndromic surveillance for influenza-like illness (ILI) in Denton County decreased during week 2 when compared to the previous week. 0.7% of the total reported school population was absent due to ILI in week 2. 1 influenza-associated adult death has been reported in Denton County for the 2019-2020 season.

During week 2, influenza activity remained high across both Texas and the United States. The percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza in Texas was 29.9% for week 2. The percentage of visits for ILI in Texas as reported by ILINet providers decreased to 7.9% in week 2 compared to the previous week. The percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza in the US was 22.9% for week 2. The proportion of outpatient visits for ILI in the US in week 2 was 4.7%, which is above the national baseline of 2.4%. The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) from the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance System for week 1 was 6.9%, which is slightly below the epidemic threshold of 7.0% for week 1.

Healthcare providers should be aware of the following recommendations:

  • Clinicians should encourage all patients 6 months of age and older who have not yet received an influenza vaccine this season to be vaccinated against influenza.
  • Rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) have limited sensitivities and predictive values; negative results of RIDTs do not exclude influenza virus infection in patients with signs and symptoms suggestive of influenza. Therefore, antiviral treatment should not be withheld from patients with suspected influenza, even if they test negative.
  • Clinicians should encourage all persons with influenza-like illness who are at high risk for influenza complications to seek care promptly to determine if treatment with influenza antiviral medications is warranted.
  • All Hospitalized, Severely Ill, and High Risk Patients with suspected influenza should be treated with antivirals. Prompt treatment with influenza antiviral drugs can reduce serious illness and death. These drugs work best when started soon after influenza symptoms begin (within 2 days), but persons with high-risk conditions can benefit even when antiviral treatment is started after the first two days of illness.