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 Contributions

APHL supports domestic and international influenza surveillance through training, guidance, technical assistance and project management.

In the US, APHL maintains National Influenza Surveillance Reference Centers and advances influenza test methods through support of clinical studies and special projects. The association plays an active role in response to public health emergencies, such as the emergence of novel influenza viruses, providing support to public health laboratories and federal partners.

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 submission guidance, national teleconferences and follow-up communications.

All public health laboratories that conduct flu testing submit data and specimens to CDC and National Influenza Surveillance Reference Centers.  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 three National Influenza Surveillance Reference Centers: California Department of Public Health, New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center and Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. These reference centers act as an extension of CDC harvesting influenza viruses in large quantities for further characterization in support of national vaccine strain selection efforts and antiviral resistance monitoring.