The Flu Report: 10/17/14 October 17, 2014 By Caitlin Bradford Leave a Comment Image courtesy of flunearyou.org. Click here to view the interactive map. We finally have numbers from the first full week of October! What does this mean? That we are now officially in the flu season! It also means some of our CDC statistics have been reset. But, don’t worry! We’re here to help sort it all out. Overview: The first official week of flu season coverage shows that influenza infection rates are still down considerably around the nation. Region 4 (the American South) is showing the highest rate of flu infection according to both the CDC and FluNearYou.org with 64% of all flu cases located in this region. Flu near you shows about 1.6% of the national population with influenza while the CDC reports that 3.2% of the samples they have received have been positive (meaning 3.2% of samples from individuals that had visited their doctors). With flu still in it’s early stages there is still plenty of time to prepare by getting your flu vaccine. By the Numbers: In the United States, the CDC has reported: Flu Cases (last three weeks) – 199 Flu-related Hospitalizations – No current data Flu-related Deaths – 5.4% (0.6% under threshold) NOTE: Flu cases, as referenced above, are confirmed cases in people who have gone to see medical professionals. Percentage estimates, referenced in the “Overview” section, include these documented cases from medical professionals but also a variety of other self-reported metrics. As flu season progresses, more up to date information will become available. Around the World: Russia, Norway, Austria and Ukraine still have moderate flu activity according to Google Flu Trends. New Zealand has returned to being moderate while Mexico remains about ready to break the barrier into the moderate category. It would still appear that flu penetration is at lower levels globally. Staying Healthy: Our tip for this week: sleep well! A good night’s rest help’s the body reset itself and fight any infections that might be present. The less sleep that we get the more likely we are to contract a disease, especially something as commonplace as the flu. For each age group there is a different level of suggested sleep but eight hours per night is generally a good rule to go by. If you would like additional help, contact a Passport Health flu professional at 1-888-499-PASS (7277) and we’ll help you schedule your flu vaccination today. The Flu Report is a weekly blog post designed to give updates on the spread of influenza throughout the year. It is posted every Friday and focuses on regional outbreaks, global spread and ways to avoid infection.