• Open Access

The frequency and seasonality of influenza and other respiratory viruses in Tennessee: two influenza seasons of surveillance data, 2010–2012




In 2010, the Tennessee Department of Health, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), expanded influenza surveillance in Tennessee to include other respiratory viruses.


To determine the prevalence and seasonality of influenza and other respiratory viruses during the influenza seasons of 2010–2012.


Nasal and nasopharangeal swabs/washings from persons with influenza-like illness were collected across Tennessee. Influenza and other respiratory viruses were identified using a molecular-based respiratory virus panel. Influenza A positives were subtyped using real-time PCR according to the CDC protocol. Data were analyzed to describe frequency and seasonality of circulating strains.


Of the 933 positive specimens, 60·3% were identified as influenza viruses, 19·8% rhinovirus/enterovirus, 8·6% respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), 5·8% metapneumovirus, 3·0% adenovirus, and 2·5% parainfluenza viruses. In the 2010–2011 season, influenza B was prominent during weeks 48–3, while influenza A(H1N1) was most frequently identified during weeks 4–10. Influenza A(H3N2) was present at lower levels during weeks 48–17. However, in the 2011–2012 season, overall numbers of influenza cases were reduced and influenza A (H3N2) was the most abundant influenza strain. The expanded surveillance for other respiratory viruses noted an increase in identified specimens from the first to the second season for adenovirus, metapneumovirus, RSV, and rhinovirus/enterovirus.


This study provides data of the influenza strains in circulation in Tennessee. It also establishes a baseline and time of year to expect other respiratory viruses that will aid in detecting outbreaks of non-influenza respiratory viruses in Tennessee.