MSDH relies upon selected sentinel health practitioners across the state to report the percentage of total patient visits consistent with an influenza-like illness (ILI).
Influenza-like illness is characterized by a fever of 100°F or higher and cough or sore throat. Providers are supplied with specimen collection kits, and submit samples to the Mississippi Public Health Laboratory for influenza PCR testing. Reports are used to estimate the state's ILI rate and the magnitude of the state's influenza activity. Reports represent only the distribution of flu in the state, not an actual count of all flu cases statewide.