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Weekly Report: Download Weekly Report 10_15_09 (Download PDF Weekly Report 10_15_2009)


This week’s flu report marks the official beginning of the 2009-2010 flu season, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control for flu reporting purposes.


As we begin this new flu season, it might be helpful to take a moment to explain how states track and report flu activity – and how to interpret the data that’s in the report posted here each week.


Flu activity in Massachusetts is tracked by measuring how many patients are reporting “influenza-like illness” (ILI) at a series of specially-designated doctor’s offices across the state known as “flu sentinel sites”. That data is translated each week into the “Percentage of ILI Visits” graph which appears as Figure 1 on the first page of the Weekly Flu Report. If you’re looking for a snapshot of the impact of flu in the state, that ILI graph is your guide. 


As we mentioned, this is the first report for the 2009-2010 flu season. On the ILI graph, 2009-2010 flu activity will be represented using a red line, with the two previous years of activity shown using different colored lines. For this first week, you won’t see any red line because it’s the first week of activity. Next week you’ll begin to see that red line appearing, tracking next week’s flu activity against this week’s. And on from there.

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