The Flu Report: 4/1/15 April 1, 2015 By Will Sowards Leave a Comment Image courtesy of flunearyou.org. Click here to view the interactive map. Influenza A infections near a season low and influenza B finally starts to decline in this week’s flu report. Overview: Flu season is nearing its end as we are finally seeing a decline in all types of flu cases, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control. The week of March 21 had fewer than 1,400 confirmed influenza cases and few influenza B cases than the previous week. Current data appears to indicate that both influenza A and B infection rates have peaked and will be continue to decline for the foreseeable future. The majority of states are reporting minimal to low influenza-like illness activity. Only five states (Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota and Texas) are experiencing high flu activity. This corresponds with FluNearYou.org’s real-time metrics that show less than two-percent of users reporting influenza-like infection. According to FluNearYou’s data, the majority of these cases are in the Midwest and a few in the Northeast. While this is not yet reflected in CDC data, remember that the CDC’s is delayed by a week while FluNearYou’s information is constantly updated. Despite this downturn, there are still an above average number of deaths of pneumonia and influenza related deaths, still above the epidemic threshold. A total of 116 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have also occurred, the highest since the 2012-2013 season. While it is unlike that we will hit the 171 deaths from that season, this is still a scary metric that emphasizes the importance of childhood flu shots and of taking other important preventative measures. By the Numbers: In the United States, the CDC has reported: Flu Cases (Laboratory Confirmed) – 1,358 (10.6% of specimens tested) Influenza A- 334 (24.6%) Influenza B- 1,024 (75.4%) Flu-related Deaths (Percentage) – 7.4% (0.2% above 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: Most of the northern hemisphere is rated as having minimal to low influenza infection rates, according to Google Flu Trends. Highlights include Spain, France and Norway which were rated as severe just a few weeks ago and Sweden, Russia and Austria which are the only countries rated at high. In the southern hemisphere; Australia, Chile and Paraguay are all nearing moderate infection levels while most of the rest of the region remains shows minimal infection rates. Staying Healthy: As we near the end of flu season, don’t forget about the importance of getting your flu shot for the 2015-2016 season. Production is already underway and vaccinations should become available around September. If you would like to schedule an appointment for yourself, your family or your business then contact a Passport Health Flu Specialist today and we will make sure that everything is set up and ready to go when the time comes. It’s never too early to prepare to fight the flu, start planning for your future 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.