Physicians Needed to Help Monitor Flu Cases in Kentucky

Posted September 28, 2018

Influenza season will be underway soon, and the Kentucky Influenza Surveillance Program needs your help!  In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) works with clinicians throughout the state to conduct surveillance for influenza-like illness (ILI) in outpatients.  These clinicians volunteer as sentinel providers and are an invaluable part of our influenza surveillance program.  Sentinel providers help us assess the timing, location, and impact of influenza viruses, and also help to identify the influenza virus strains that are circulating in the community.

Who can be a Kentucky sentinel provider?

  • Physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants from any specialty or urgent treatment clinic practicing in Kentucky.
  • If you are located in Kentucky but do not serve in one of these roles in your practice, please forward this information to someone who does.

What is requested of Kentucky sentinel providers?

  • Report on a weekly basis the number of patients with ILI by age group and the total number of patients seen for any reason to CDC by internet or fax.
  • In the absence of a known cause other than influenza, ILI is defined as:
  • Fever of ≥100˚F or 37.8˚C); AND
  • Cough; AND/OR
  • Sore throat
  • It takes most providers <30 minutes per week to compile and report their data.
  • Sentinel providers are also encouraged to submit a subset of respiratory specimens to:
  • Your reference laboratory; or
  • KDPH Division of Laboratory Services (DLS).  (DLS performs free influenza testing).

What do I get for being a Kentucky sentinel provider?

  • Routine updates on influenza activity occurring in Kentucky.
  • Individual test results for specimens submitted for testing.
  • Free influenza PCR test kits for sentinel providers who report consistently.

How do I enroll?