ILINet Sentinel Surveillance


What would you like to do?

What you need to know

Across the US, outpatient providers record and track influenza-like illness (ILI) to contribute to the national surveillance of influenza in outpatient visits. In 2020-2021, 85 million visits for ILI occurred in the US and every week approximately 3,000 sentinel providers voluntarily report that data to track potential influenza outbreaks.

Public health success stories often begin with the savvy clinician that voluntarily tracked and reported unusual cases to a public health agency, preventing an outbreak or reducing its severity. The sentinel influenza surveillance program is a way that any outpatient provider can serve their community. Providers of any specialty can report data from an outpatient setting, including private outpatient clinics, emergency rooms, university health centers, urgent care clinics, federally qualified health centers, and public health clinics.
Doctor and patient
Doctor and Patient

​As a sentinel provider in the State of Nebraska, data reporting includes the number of patients seen per week by age group and the number of ILI cases per week by age groups (0 – 4 years, 5 – 24 years, 25 – 49 years, 50 – 64 years, and 65 years and older). Cases of ILI are defined as fever (temperature greater than 100 °F [37.8 °C or greater] and a cough and/or sore throat. Some states report that providers compile and send their data in about 10 minutes. Each season, it is requested that 10 suspected ILI specimens be collected, collection kits sent free of charge, and sent to the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory.

COVID-19 has highlighted the need to build relationships between public health and health care providers. Being a sentinel provider enables regular information exchange with public health professionals tracking diseases seen in Nebraska and your local community. Plugged into public health influenza surveillance, providers can see the impact of influenza outside their clinic to better protect their patients and community.

If you are a provider interested in the ILI sentinel surveillance program, please complete this ILINet survey and DHHS will be in contact with you about setting you up as a sentinel provider. If you have any questions, please contact your local health department.​​