Kansas regulations do not require health care providers to report cases of influenza to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) except for pediatric deaths and novel influenza A infections. Instead, influenza activity is measured through surveillance networks including the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Network (ILINet) and syndromic surveillance (ESSENCE).
ILINet is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state, local, and territorial health departments. ILINet in Kansas is represented by family practices, emergency departments, student health centers, and pediatric offices.
Each week, ILINet clinics determine the percentage of patients seen with influenza-like illness (ILI). Influenza-like illness is defined as fever (>100°F) with cough and/or sore throat. Data is collected from Sunday through Saturday of each week. Clinics are asked to submit the previous week's data by 11:00 AM each Tuesday.
The Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics (ESSENCE) is a syndromic surveillance system for capturing and analyzing public health indicators in near real-time for detection of disease outbreaks. Currently, 116 of 138 Kansas emergency departments share data. This is about 96% of all ED patient visits a year. More than 90% of reported ED visits are processed within 24-48 hours of the visit itself, and data is subject to change. Syndromic data does not include direct admits or transfers.
All nasopharyngeal and nasal swabs submitted to the Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories for COVID-19 testing are tested on a multiplex PCR assay with includes influenza A, influenza B, respiratory syncytial virus, and rhinovirus/enterovirus targets. If either target is detected, further typing is performed on those specimens.
Number of Specimens Tested for Influenza at the Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories by Week Ending Date, Kansas, October 2021 – Present
|Week Ending Date||Influenza A/H3||Influenza A/H1||Influenza A (not subtyped||Influenza B||Respiratory Syncytial Virus||Rhinovirus/Enterovirus||Negative|
Pneumonia & Influenza Mortality
|Season||2019-20 Season||N/A||2020-21 Season||N/A||2021-22 Season
|Influenza - Contributing Cause of Death Only||23||1.5||0||0||12||0.4
|Influenza - Direct Cause of Death||118||7.6||4||0.1||31||1.1|
|Pneumonia - Direct Cause of Death||378||24.5||312||10.3||275||9.4|
|COVID-associated Pneumonia - Contributing Cause of Death Only||108||7.0||1967||64.7||1732||59.3|
|Pneumonia - Contributing Cause of Death Only||919||59.4||758||24.9||872||29.8|
Source: Kansas Department of Health and Environment - Division of Health Bureau of Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics. Prepared May 23, 2022. Note: Influenza reporting seasons run from September 1 through May 31 of following year. Influenza and Pneumonia frequently occur together during a flu season resulting in reporting of both on death certificates.