Reporting Guidelines

The major objectives of influenza surveillance this season are to describe risk factors for and burden of severe illness, provide information for management of situations requiring public health intervention(s) (e.g., prophylaxis in a congregate care facility), identify changes in the severity and epidemiology of influenza, and identify novel strains.
For influenza reporting, I-NEDSS contains three different case-based modules: novel influenza, pediatric influenza-associated deaths, and influenza-associated ICU hospitalization. Please enter cases into the appropriate module. For female patients in the ICU, enter important information on pregnancy/postpartum status. If updated information for any patient becomes available after the initial report (e.g., results of a PCR test, death), please update the I-NEDSS report. Providers should report the following to CDPH:  
  1. Suspected novel influenza (e.g., severe respiratory illness of unknown etiology associated with recent international travel, contact with swine, or any case of human infection with an influenza A virus that is different from currently circulating human influenza H1 and H3 viruses). Suspected Novel Influenza cases are reportable immediately, within three hours. Note: For surveillance purposes, 2009 H1N1 (A) influenza is no longer considered to be a novel influenza strain. 
  2.  Pediatric influenza-associated death is defined as death of an individual < 18 years of age resulting from a clinically compatible illness confirmed to be influenza by culture, PCR, commercial rapid influenza, or other appropriate diagnostic test. These cases are reportable as soon as possible, but within seven days. 
  3.  Influenza associated Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospitalizations are defined as individuals hospitalized in an ICU with a positive laboratory test for influenza A or B, including specimens identified as influenza A/H3N2, A/H1N1pdm09, and specimens not subtyped (e.g., influenza positive cases by PCR or any rapid test such as EIA). These cases are reportable as soon as possible, but within 24 hours.
  4.  Outbreaks of influenza or influenza-like illness in a congregate setting (e.g., correctional or long-term care facility): Additional information regarding reporting of outbreaks of influenza and influenza-like illness in congregate settings can be found here.  
For more information about reporting: IDPH Influenza Testing and Reporting Guidelines.

Weekly Surveillance Report

The Chicago Flu Update is now available online.
Visit for the current report. Reports are published weekly on Friday for the duration of the flu season (October-May). 
Archived reports are availible here.

testing Guidelines

Influenza testing at the IDPH Laboratory is performed on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by CDPH prior to submitting specimens.  If approved, an authorization code will be provided that will authorize influenza testing at the IDPH Laboratory.  Specimens submitted to IDPH Laboratory without prior approval will be rejected and stored until further information is obtained.  To request authorization:
  1. Call 312-743-9000 and press 1 when prompted. If no answer, leave a voicemail with a contact name and a call-back number. 
  2. When contacted by CDPH, please have the patient information readily available and the reason why influenza testing is being requested at the IDPH Laboratory. If approved, an authorization code will be provided during the call.  
  3. Once approved, the provider must submit the test order electronically using the IDPH Electronic Test Ordering and Reporting (ETOR) portal. To enroll email 
  4. The submitter must arrange for the specimen to be transported to the IDPH Laboratory. All specimens must be received at the IDPH Laboratory for testing within three days of specimen collection except if frozen. 
  5. Specimen results will be communicated to the submitter as reported in the ETOR portal.
For more information about reporting: IDPH Influenza Testing and Reporting Guidelines.

Influenza Reporting

For Clinical Questions Contact:

The CDPH Disease Reporting Hotline at 312-743-9000

*After hours, weekends, and holidays, call 311 and ask for the communicable disease physician on-call (or 312-744-5000 if outside the City of Chicago)

Reporting Guidelines: 
Please refer to the relevant section in the left portion of this page.

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