Influenza Report: Early-Season Percentage of ER Visits Higher Than Usual

Influenza Report: Early-Season Percentage of ER Visits Higher Than Usual

It’s nothing to be worried about, of course, but early reports of this year’s flu season in Kane County show a higher percentage of emergency room visits than most previous years.

Influenza surveillance for Kane County Health Department includes the collection of data from hospital emergency rooms, laboratories, and public schools.

Participants have reported the following aggregate measures for Week 43, which is the week of Oct. 20 through Oct. 26.

  • Among five reporting hospital emergency rooms, 2.9% of visits were for influenza-like illness (ILI).
  • During Week 43, six labs reported that 13 of 414 (3.1%) specimens tested for influenza were positive. Of these 13 specimens:
    • Eight (61.5%) were positive for Influenza A
    • Five (38.5%) were positive for Influenza B
    • No other specimen tested positive for the week ending on Oct. 26, 2019.
  • The ILI absenteeism rate for public schools in Kane County was 0.17%. No public school was closed due to increased ILI activity.
  • As of the week ending Oct. 26, there have been two influenza-related ICU admission reported to the health department.
  • To date, no outbreaks of influenza have been reported in Long-Term Care/Assisted Living facilities in Kane County.

Emergency Room Visits

During Week 43, 2.9% of reported hospital emergency room visits were for influenza-like illness.

Each week, data for the 2019-20 season will be presented with data from the previous flu seasons to show the trend of ER visits for ILI over time.

Visits for influenza-like illness to reporting emergency rooms during Week 43 had the following age distribution:

  • 0-4 years: 28.3% of all ILI visits
  • 5-24 years: 28.3% of all ILI visits
  • 25-64 years: 35.4% of all ILI visits
  • 65+ years: 7.9% of all ILI visits

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.

If You Get Sick

Most healthy people recover from the flu without complications. If you get the flu:

  • Stay home from work or school.
  • Get lots of rest, drink plenty of liquids, and avoid using alcohol and tobacco.
  • There are over-the-counter (OTC) medications to relieve the symptoms of the flu (but never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever).
  • Remember that serious illness from the flu is more likely in certain groups of people including people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, people with certain chronic medical conditions and young children.
  • Consult your doctor early on for the best treatment, but also be aware of emergency warning signs that require urgent medical attention.

Helpful Links

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IDPH: 5 Tips For Staying Healthy During Flu Season

SOURCE: Kane County Health Department