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Influenza Reporting and Surveillance

Novel influenza A virus infection, influenza-associated hospitalizations, and influenza-associated pediatric deaths are classified as Wisconsin disease surveillance category II diseases. Health care providers should report to the patient's local/tribal public health department:

Reporting should be completed within 72 hours upon recognition of a case. For more information, please visit the DHS Disease Reporting page.

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DHS Surveillance Resources

Surveillance data is obtained through the following sources:

  • Voluntary submission of isolates by clinical virology laboratories to the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene.
  • Voluntary reporting by virology laboratories that participate in the Wisconsin Laboratory Information Network (LIN) of positive test results and total number of respiratory virus specimens tested.
  • Voluntary reporting by a statewide network of sentinel clinicians and emergency departments of the number of patients presenting with influenza-like illness and the total number of patient visits by age group each week. This reporting occurs year-round.
  • Voluntary reporting of influenza outbreaks in long-term care facilities, schools and other congregate settings.

A clinical diagnosis of influenza can be made without laboratory testing during periods of increased influenza activity in the community. However, influenza testing can guide clinical decisions like the use of antiviral medication for treatment or prevention. If you think you have the flu, contact your doctor. Efforts to prevent the spread can get underway immediately following diagnosis. For more information on influenza testing please see the CDC influenza testing website.

Influenza-like illness activity in Wisconsin is based on information received from clinicians throughout the state by the Division of Public Health. These data include information on patients with influenza-like illness and the total number of patients seen in a given week. For surveillance purposes, influenza-like illness is defined as the presence of fever (greater than 100 degrees) with a sore throat or a cough, and does not reflect laboratory confirmed cases of influenza.

Check out our webpage on the differences between the seasonal flu, a cold, or whooping cough for frequently asked questions on these illnesses.

Questions about influenza? Contact us!
Phone: 608-267-9003 | Fax: 608-261-4976

Last revised January 11, 2023