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DATA AND SURVEILLANCE

The above surveillance data is current as of January 2, 2021.

The trends in the Syndromic Surveillance and Sentinel Providers panel have a break as there will be a MMWR Week 53 this season. The graphs are best viewed in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

From the Respiratory Disease Epidemiologist - January 10, 2021

Influenza activity remains low in West Virginia. Overs some weeks this season, the percent of healthcare visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) has been relatively high statewide and in certain regions (not shown). However, detections of influenza via certain diagnostic tests (mainly PCR) have remained <10 per week. Therefore, elevated ILI activity so far is not likely due to true influenza virus transmission but rather continued spread of COVID-19 (which can have similar symptoms to influenza) and significant changes in healthcare seeking behaviors during the pandemic. Nevertheless, a sudden increase in influenza activity can still happen as has happened in previous years.

Getting your influenza vaccination this year is especially critical in order to prevent a "twindemic" of influenza and COVID-19 this winter. Influenza vaccination not only prevents influenza illnesses but also lessens the severity of influenza illness and prevents associated hospitalizations and death. Find a location providing influenza vaccinations at vaccinefinder.org. Check with your local health department or health system, as they may be conducting drive-thru vaccination events.

Influenza-like illness, which is a fever with a cough or sore throat, can be caused by several respiratory pathogens, including the virus that causes COVID-19. The CDC has guidance for what to do if you develop either influenza or COVID-19 illness, including what emergency signs warrant immediate medical attention. For more information regarding COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus, please visit coronavirus.wv.gov.

Printable Surveillance Graphs