Flu Report: Announcing Passport Health Flu Week October 7, 2015 By Will Sowards Leave a Comment This week is Passport Health’s Flu Week, and our blog this week is dedicated to the important topic of influenza. With the CDC’s official start of influenza season just around the corner, we look at what is happening in flu spread and news around the world, and what these developments may mean for the coming 2015-2016 flu season. In The U.S.: Wondering about the flu in your community? Click here to view the full interactive Flu Near You map. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will not release its first full influenza assessment until October 16, but three-week cumulative data from the CDC gives us some insight into what to expect in the near and long term. Currently, the northwest and southeast areas of the US are the hardest hit by influenza with nearly a quarter of all cases in the nation coming from the southeast region alone. The concentration of early season cases in the southeast and northwest stays consistent with data from last year when both regions were the first to have high levels of influenza activity. The exact reason for the concentration of cases isn’t clear, but generally lower routine vaccination rates in these regions as well as a trend toward older populations (especially in the southeast) may play a role. FluNearYou shows a higher concentration of influenza activity in the northeast, which could be a portent of things to come as its system relies on live reporting versus weekly reports. California also appears to have a high concentration of activity, and we will be watching both situations as flu season progresses. By The Numbers: In the United States, the CDC reported: Flu Cases (Laboratory Confirmed) – 402 Influenza A – 306 (76.1%) Influenza B – 92 (22.9%) Flu-Related Deaths (Percentage) – 5.5% (0.4% 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’s latest report shows decreased flu activity throughout most of the world. Australia still shows a high percentage of infection with an even split between influenza A (H3) and influenza B. Southeast Asia’s influenza infection rate has declined and shows almost exclusively influenza A (H3). These statistics give more credence to the CDC’s statement that this year’s vaccine will give a quite high level of protection against the current influenza strains. Staying Healthy This week’s staying healthy tip involves some reading. Since this is Passport Health’s Flu Week, we suggest checking out some of our other posts this week including: Is Getting A Flu Shot Worth It? Seniors and the Flu: Protection Through Vaccination Check back in on Thursday and Friday for more articles to help keep you safe this flu season. 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 provides 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.