The Flu Report: Senior Safety September 22, 2015 By Will Sowards Leave a Comment Influenza rates remain low throughout the U.S. and the world, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some very important advice for seniors before the season picks up. In The U.S.: Wondering about the flu in your community? Click here to view the full interactive Flu Near You map. Flu incidence is still very low throughout the United States, according to the CDC and FluNearYou. Only 275 confirmed cases were reported between August 22 and September 11, the majority of which were influenza A strains. The 2015-2016 vaccine offers protection against this strain. FluNearYou shows only two percent of the reporting population demonstrating flu-like symptoms which is a lower rate than what was reported at this time last year. There are a few hotspots for flu activity despite the low overall rate of infection. The Northwest, specifically in Washington, and the Northeast, from about Boston down to Washington D.C., have a higher concentration of infection than other parts of the country, according to FluNearYou. Whether this regional trend will continue remains to be seen. Despite the low infection rate, flu-related deaths have increased to be just a few points below the epidemic threshold. The increase in this metric, calculated based on the time of year and average mortality rate, is not cause for alarm and is to be expected. By The Numbers: In the United States, the CDC reported: Flu Cases (Laboratory Confirmed) – 275 (between August 22 and September 11) Influenza A – 217 (78.9%) Influenza B – 51 (18.5%) Flu-Related Deaths (Percentage) – 5.5% (0.3% below 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 The World Health Organization has not yet released a new report detailing flu incidence throughout the world. However, regional reports indicate declining infection rates in the southern hemisphere, especially in South Africa. We will provide more updates as the latest reports become available. Staying Healthy A recent report showed that up to 75 percent of seniors have not received their recommended vaccinations, which could leave them at risk, especially during flu season. The report further showed that more than 60 percent of seniors skip their annual flu vaccine. Shingles, pneumonia and influenza vaccination, among others, are highly recommended for seniors. If you are over the age of 60, please consider a flu shot as well as these other key immunizations. Shingles, pneumonia, flu and other routine vaccinations are always in-stock and ready to be administered at all Passport Health clinic locations. For additional information on influenza and its prevention, visit FluFree.com which contains a variety of flu-related resources. To schedule your flu shot, please contact a Passport Health flu professional at and make it through flu season worry-free. The Flu Report is a weekly blog post that gives the latest updates on influenza spread throughout flu season. It is posted every Wednesday from September to April, and focuses on regional outbreaks, global spread and ways to avoid infection.