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Public health laboratories perform influenza testing for diagnosis, routine surveillance and novel influenza virus detection. Surveillance testing informs local, national and international influenza surveillance systems by providing valuable data for vaccine virus selection. APHL supports domestic and international influenza surveillance through training, guidance, technical assistance and project management.

Virologic Surveillance

Public health laboratories and APHL serve as vital partners in national virologic surveillance. Through routine monitoring of viruses in their region, public health laboratories help to determine what viruses are circulating, where they are circulating and if they are changing in ways that could lead to reduced vaccine efficacy or antiviral resistance. APHL supports CDC with distribution of specimen submission guidance, national teleconferences and follow-up communications.

APHL and CDC developed the Influenza Virologic Surveillance Right Size Roadmap to systematically define the rationale, vital capabilities, and optimal "right size" for influenza virologic surveillance. The Roadmap can help states determine the optimal amount of laboratory testing to meet national surveillance goals with confidence that the data provides an accurate picture of what is really happening within the US.

All public health laboratories that conduct influenza testing submit data to CDC. State public health laboratories submit influenza specimens to National Influenza Reference Centers to meet Right Size goals for national surveillance. The data is included in CDC's weekly FluView publication. Each state also publishes routine influenza surveillance reports using public health laboratory data. To follow flu activity in specific states, see our interactive map below.

National Influenza Surveillance Reference Centers

In collaboration with CDC, APHL sponsors National Influenza Surveillance Reference Centers. These reference centers, acting as an extension of CDC, perform next-generation sequencing, harvest influenza viruses in large quantities for further characterization in support of national vaccine strain selection efforts and antiviral resistance monitoring. 

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