Is flu starting to spike, just in time for the holidays?
Maybe, maybe not.
The Kane County Health Department’s Influenza Survey for Week 49 (Dec. 4-10, 2016) showed a relatively sharp increase in terms of flu-related emergency room visits at Kane County hospitals. According to the report, 2.7 percent of ER visits were due to flu this week, compared to 1.4 percent the previous week.
But the flu report for Week 50 was back down to 1.2 percent of ER visits.
As you can see by the charts above and below, each year has its own bell curve when flu peaks. Last year’s didn’t start until around Week 4 of 2016 and hit its highest level at around Week 8.
This year’s (2016-17 season) was starting to look like 2012-13, when the jump started around Week 49 and hit its pinnacle right around the new year in Week 52.
Influenza surveillance for Kane County Health Department includes the collection of data from hospital emergency rooms, laboratories, and public schools.
In Week 49, participants reported the following aggregate measures:
- Among four reporting hospital emergency rooms, 2.7 percent of visits were for influenza-like illness.
- During Week 49, labs reported that 8 of 295 (2.7 pecent) of specimens tested for influenza were positive. Of these eight specimens:
- Two (25 percent) were positive for Influenza A
- Six (75 percent) were positive for Influenza B
- During Week 49 the ILI absenteeism rate for public schools in Kane County was 0.27 percent. No school reached the threshold rate of 5 percent. Thus, no school was closed due to increased ILI activity.
Visits for influenza-like illness to reporting emergency rooms during Week 49 had the following age distribution:
- 0-4 years: 30.2 percent of all ILI visits
- 5-24 years: 34.0 percent of all ILI visits
- 25-64 years: 24.5 percent of all ILI visits
- 65+ years: 11.3 percent of all ILI visits
In Week 50, here’s what it looks like:
- During Week 50, labs reported that 18 of 258 (7 percent) of specimens tested for influenza were positive. Of these 18 specimens:
- Seven (38.9 percent) were positive for Influenza A
- Nine (50 percent) were positive for Influenza B
- Two (11.1 percent) were positive for Influenza A/B
- During Week 50, the ILI absenteeism rate for public schools in Kane County was 0.17 percent.
Visits for influenza-like illness to reporting emergency rooms during Week 50 had the following age distribution:
- 0-4 years: 42.3 percent of all ILI visits
- 5-24 years: 38.5 percent of all ILI visits
- 25-64 years: 11.5 percent of all ILI visits
- 65+ years: 7.7 percent of all ILI visits
As of the week ending Dec. 17, there have been no cases of influenza-related ICU admissions reported to the health department. No influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported.
To date, no outbreaks of influenza have been reported in Long-Term Care/Assisted Living facilities in Kane County.
Throughout the season, KCHD will provide updated information on the total number of people visiting the emergency room for ILI, and what age groups make up those visits.
About the Kane County Health Department
In active partnership with our community, the Kane County Health Department improves the quality of life and well-being of all residents by developing and implementing local policies, systems, and services that protect and promote health, and prevent disease, injury and disability. Visit the Health Department’s Facebook Page and sign up for the award-winning “Health Matters” newsletter.