Influenza Activity in Shelby County TN

Season Highlights

October 1, 2019 thru March 3, 2020

*There have been over 25,800 visits to the Emergency Department for influenza like illness (ILI) since Oct 1, 2019. 

*Currently 8% of ED visits are due to ILI. 

*There have been three reported outbreaks  throughout Shelby County. 

*0-4 years still represents the highest age group affected (33%) with 5-24 the second highest at 32%.

*Even though adults over 65 are the lowest age group to visit the ED (4%), they are admitted to the hospital 26% of the time, more than any other age group.

*Nationally there have been 136 influenza pediatric influenza-associated deaths reported to CDC. Eleven pediatric deaths in TN.

*Currently influenza A (H1N1) and influenza B are both circulating, more influenza A than B. 

*Providers are urged by CDC to provide early treatment with antivirals.

*It's not too late to get a flu vaccine. 

There has been more influenza activity this season than the past two seasons. The activity started slightly earlier but at low levels, the sharp rise in activity was stark, between Dec 20 and Dec 25 the percent of visits for ILI went from 12.5% to 22%. 

Activity across the state has followed this same trend. However, our flu activity differs from other states. Click on the CDC link for more. 

We have discharge disposition data for 99% of visits. 

              Overall 73% of visits are discharged home 

              4% of the visits were admitted

              19% were transferred to another facility 

              2% left either before being seen or against medical advice (these fall under the "Left Against Medical Advice" category)

26% of adults over 65 are admitted, even though they are the 

The second age group being admitted are adults 50-64 (15%)

Only 3% of children 0-4 are admitted, though 22% are transferred to another facility and it is not clear if those are directly admitted to another facility or if it is a transfer to another ED. 

Sentinel Provider Network - Week 9 (Feb 23-Feb 29)

                                     Outpatient providers reporting ILI Activity 

This data is retrieved from the Tennessee Department of Health ILI Surveillance Summary

The percentage of outpatients with ILI visiting the Shelby County Sentinel clinic sites is 9.2%

This is higher than the state average percent of 5.67%. The CDC baseline rate is 2.4%. 
Of the 17 sites voluntarily reporting data, 7 are outpatient clinics. The rest are emergency departments.

The data share here is Emergency Department visits, outpatient visits and the number of positive flu tests from local providers.

Influenza like illness (ILI) is defined as: Fever >100◦ plus cough and/or sore throat with no other known cause (for example strep throat).

Influenza is not a reportable condition, so any data collected is voluntarily provided by community members.

Not all Emergency Department (ED) visits published here are diagnosed as influenza; some are discharged with a diagnosis of rhinovirus, bronchitis, or other upper respiratory infection.

The ED data is retrieved from the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE-TN). Currently, 11 out of the 12 ED's in Shelby County submit data to ESSENCE-TN. Off-season ILI is included for baseline comparison.

Outpatient visit data is collected by the CDC's Sentinel Provider Network and reported to Tennessee Department of Health weekly.

Some local providers also voluntarily report the number of positive flu tests. This data is presented in a table.

For information about infection prevention, national activity or detailed information about the influenza virus, please visit the CDC Influenza page. For information about influenza activity in Tennessee please visit the TN Department of Health web page. 

Click here for access to the CDC influenza page

Click on here to access Tennessee specific influenza data 

For questions about reporting influenza data, please contact the 

Shelby County Health Department Regional Epidemiologist:

(901) 222-9239