The Flu Report: 10/24/2014 October 24, 2014 By Cait Hartwyk Leave a Comment Image courtesy of flunearyou.org. Click here to view the interactive map. As we’ve been moving toward Halloween the flu has been moving slowly across the country. This week’s Flu Report is a focus in how the flu is spreading regionally but has yet to take hold across the nation. Overview: Influenza is spreading, we all knew that was going to happen. But, the unexpected is how it is staying extremely regional. Almost 70% of all flu cases in the United States are coming from the South according to CDC reporting. FluNearYou.org seems to be supporting this with their research as well. The CDC and FluNearYou.org’s national rates now appear to be almost identical with the CDC reporting 1.3% and FluNearYou.org 1.6%. What’s interesting is the overall increase in cases which rose 17.5% over the last week. While not a drastic increase it shows that we could soon have a much higher level of cases than we currently are seeing. By the Numbers: In the United States, the CDC has reported: Flu Cases – 282 Flu-related Hospitalizations – No Current Data Flu-related Deaths – 5.4% 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: The good news is that not a single country in the world is listed as high volume for the flu by Google Flu Trends. However, more countries in the Northern Hemisphere are moving closer to a moderate ranking meaning that the flu is beginning to spread more and more throughout areas in the developed world. Staying Healthy: Our tip for this week: Be flu conscious when you travel! If you’re in a taxi or a bus or in your Uber car be sure to wash your hands after and do not touch your face. When germs get on your hands they can stay there for a while and touching places can leave those germs there. These germs can then infect you especially if they are near your mouth or any part of you that allows easy entry for bacteria. Remember, that is the same basic process that can give you pink eye. For 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.