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Florida ILINet Influenza Surveillance

Florida Health

Disease Control

2010 -2011 Sentinel Provider Recruitment Packet

Florida clinicians are an important part of the process!

The 2010 - 2011 ILINet Recruitment Packet includes:

  • Program
  • Summary
  • Enrollment Form
  • Reporting
  • Schedules
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Florida Need Influenza Sentinel Providers?

ILINet providers are key to the success of the Florida Department of Health's Influenza Surveillance System. An ILINet provider conducts surveillance for Influenza-like illness (ILI) in collaboration with the Florida State Health Department Bureau of Epidemiology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Data reported by sentinel providers, in combination with other influenza surveillance data, provides a national picture of influenza virus and ILI activity in the U.S. and Florida.

What data do ILINet Providers collect ?

ILINet providers report the number of patient visits each week and number of patient visits for ILI by age group (0-4 years, 5-24 years, 25-49 years, 50-64 years, and 65+ years) year round. These data are transmitted once a week via the internet or via fax to a central database to CDC. Most providers report that it takes less than 30 minutes a week to compile and report their data. In addition, sentinel providers can submit specimens from a subset of patients to the state laboratory for virus isolation free of charge.

Who can be an ILINet Provider?

Providers of any specialty (e.g., family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, infectious diseases) in any type of practice (e.g., private practice, public health, clinic, urgent care center, emergency room, university student health center) are eligible to be sentinel providers.

Why Volunteer?

Epidemics of influenza usually occur during the winter months and are responsible for approximately 36,000 deaths per year in the United States. Influenza and pneumonia together were the eighth leading cause of death in Florida in 2004, with over 3,000 deaths statewide. Serious complications due to influenza can also occur in persons with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic lung conditions, or HIV. The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and worldwide reports of bird flu (Influenza A H5N1) since 2003 have increased both the public concern for influenza and the profile of influenza surveillance.

Data from sentinel providers are critical for monitoring influenza's impact in Florida. In combination with other influenza surveillance data, they can be used to guide prevention and control activities, vaccine strain selection, and patient care. Sentinel providers receive feedback on the data submitted, and data are summarized and reported along with other flu surveillance mechanisms in the Florida Flu Review.

Additionally, the Bureau of Epidemiology has established a secure internet forum for sentinel providers through EpiCom (the state's electronic communication system). Access to this system will give providers the opportunity to share and receive information about the sentinel program, as well as information related to disease outbreaks. EpiCom is free and there in no software to install since the site can be accessed from any computer with Internet capabilities.

How can I learn more about the ILINet program?

The Bureau of Epidemiology has created a training presentation which will orient you to influenza surveillance in Florida as well as Florida ILINet program specifically. Please visit our ILINet Training and Orientation webpage to learn more about this training opportunity and how you can earn CEUs.

For more information on participating in Florida ILINet, please contact your local county health department or the Influenza Surveillance Program in the Bureau of Epidemiology at 850-245-4441.

*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Acrobat Reader may be required to view these files.