Influenza Surveillance in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): 2012-2013 Influenza Season

Cynthia A. Lucero-Obusan, Mark Winters, Patricia Schirmer, Gina Oda, Richard A. Martinello, Victoria J. Davey, Mark Holodniy


Since 2009, VA Office of Public Health has monitored influenza and influenza-like-illness (ILI) activity using the VA's Healthcare Associated Infection and Influenza Surveillance System (HAIISS). Analysis of data from the 2012-2013 Influenza Season showed increases in outpatient visits, hospitalizations, telephone triage calls, total testing and positive influenza tests, indicating that the 2012-2013 season required more healthcare resource utilization.  Additionally, more Veterans ≥ 65 years of age sought care compared to the last 2 seasons. Strain characterization demonstrated HA epitope differences compared to vaccine strains. Vaccine procedure data showed that influenza immunization among VA patients could be improved upon.

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *