The Flu Report: 3/11/15 March 11, 2015 By Will Sowards 2 Comments Image courtesy of flunearyou.org. Click here to view the interactive map. Influenza rates declined again this week as we near the end of the 2014-2015 flu season. Overview: The rate of flu spread across the US is at a minimal level with less than 2,000 new cases having been diagnosed for the period from February 22 to 28, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control. Forty states are experiencing minimal to low activity throughout the United States, and only three states (Oklahoma, Mississippi and Connecticut) still show high levels of activity. According to FluNearYou.org, which uses real-time user-reported data, less than two percent of users are reporting flu-like symptoms, which is a great sign for the end of flu season! The website lists overall activity as minimal, but it does show a few minor hotspots on the West and East coastlines. It is very likely that the CDC data reported during the coming weeks will show very low activity and a possible end (unofficially, at least) to the flu season. Flu cases may also be getting less severe as the influenza mortality rate is now down at the epidemic threshold. If current data holds, it should be below this threshold by next week. By the Numbers: In the United States, the CDC has reported: Flu Cases (Laboratory Confirmed) – 1,834 (10.9% of specimens tested) Influenza A- 1,128 (61.5%) Influenza B- 706 (38.5%) Flu-related Deaths (Percentage) – 7.2% (At epidemic 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. Around the World: Just as influenza rates have declined in the U.S., they are also going down across the globe, according to Google Flu Trends. Most of Europe is nearing a moderate to low rating, and Japan is now listed as low as well. However, we are starting to see some uptick in cases in the Southern Hemisphere, specifically in Chile and South Africa, as we are nearing the beginning of the Southern Hemisphere’s flu season. Staying Healthy: Our tip for this week: stay protected while traveling! With flu season being close to starting in the Southern Hemisphere, it is important to follow proper precautions while on the go and at home. If you are traveling to an international locale, be sure to have all necessary and recommended vaccinations before departure. If you are unsure which vaccines you may need, contact a Travel Medicine Specialist today. For additional information on influenza and what can be done to prevent it, visit FluFree.com which contains a variety of flu related resources. In order to schedule your flu shot, even for the upcoming 2015-2016 flu season, please contact a Passport Health flu professional at 1-888-499-PASS (7277), and we’ll help you get everything arranged. The Flu Report is a weekly blog post designed to give updates on the spread of influenza throughout the year. It is posted every Wednesday and focuses on regional outbreaks, global spread and ways to avoid infection.