For Providers

Help Detect Novel Influenza Viruses   Magnifying glass image

What is a novel influenza virus?

A novel influenza virus is an influenza A virus subtype that infects a human and is different from currently circulating human influenza H1 and H3 viruses. Novel subtypes include influenza H1 and H3 subtypes originating from a non-human species, such as swine (pigs) or poultry (such as chickens or turkeys) or from genetic reassortment between animal and human viruses. 

Human infections with novel influenza A viruses that can be transmitted from person to person may signal the beginning of an influenza pandemic. Rapid detection and reporting of human infections with novel influenza A viruses will facilitate prompt detection and characterization of influenza A viruses with pandemic potential and accelerate the implementation of effective public health responses.

How, as a provider, do I help detect novel influenza viruses?

If you have a patient with influenza A who has had close contact with poultry (birds) or swine (pigs), contact the Epidemiologist On Call at 919-733-3419. A sample from that patient may then be approved for free testing at the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health. Sample collection instructions can be found here.

Contribute to Influenza Surveillance   Clinician icon

What is ILINet?

The U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet), is a collaboration with providers, state health departments, and CDC to conduct surveillance for influenza-like illness.

Why is flu surveillance important?

Understanding the current activity and spread of influenza helps providers make informed decisions on testing and treatment of their patients and allows hospitals and clinics to plan for the volume of patients they are likely to see. Additionally, knowing what strains of flu are circulating this year can help inform the flu vaccine for the next season.

What do ILINet providers do?

Every week during influenza season sentinel providers report the total number of patients they have seen with influenza-like illness and submit a subset of specimens for testing to the North Carolina State Laboratory for Public Health.

To enroll as an ILINet provider contact the North Carolina Communicable Disease Branch at 919-733-3419.

Last Modified: July 9, 2019