DSHS Public Health Region 2/3 - Pediatric Influenza Table Top (2017)

In addition to the usage of ESSENCE for weekly influenza surveillance, members of the PHR 2/3 Community Preparedness program held a table top exercise in 2017 with infection preventionists of pediatric care hospitals, hospital emergency managers, and other healthcare, emergency management, and public health professionals. The table top was intended to simulate a response to a pediatric influenza outbreak. PHR 2/3 epidemiologists used ESSENCE to gather age-specific influenza and ILI data for cases occurring from 2013-2017.

The data demonstrated that ages 0-14 (14 is the age cut-off for pediatric hospitals) made up approximately half of all ILI cases compared to all other ages combined (ages 15-65+). This information in combination with the table top itself helped planners not only prepare for such an event, but also better understand the difficulties with which a surge of pediatric cases would cause, given the number of cases that routinely occur on a seasonal basis.