Sentinel Influenza Reporting for Virginia

-Welcome to sentinel and pre-screen positive (PSP) influenza surveillance for the 2019-20 flu season!

Each flu season, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) partners with select outpatient, urgent care, student health, and emergency department providers to test specimens from patients with an influenza-like illness (ILI) for influenza and further characterize the type and subtype of positive results. This surveillance effort allows VDH to determine what virus strains are circulating each week, monitor the community for any novel strains, and provide data for future vaccine formulation decisions.

VDH requests that each site submit two to five specimens per week throughout the flu season (week 40 through week 20 of the next year). For the 2019-20 flu season, the flu season lasts from September 29, 2019 through May 16, 2020. It’s important to submit specimens throughout the season because it allows for more precise identification of when influenza activity starts to increase or decrease.


ILI Case Definition

FEVER of 100ºF or greater with either
without a known cause


Important links for sentinel providers

Sentinel Surveillance – What is it?
Sentinel Surveillance – How to get started
Sentinel Flu Provider Instructions
SAF-T-PAK Packing Instructions
Clinical Microbiology/Virology Request Form
Current Virginia Activity Level Report
CDC FluView Activity Report


Please direct any questions on the influenza surveillance program to or contact your local health department at