Flu Report: Flu in 2016 January 7, 2016 By Will Sowards Leave a Comment We now have data from the last few weeks of 2015 that show influenza spread remains minimal across the United States. But, what will we see in 2016? Will the flu stay light, or are we in for something more serious in the weeks and months to come? In The U.S.: Wondering about the flu in your community? Click here to view the full interactive Flu Near You map. As of now, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points toward a lighter flu season for the remainder of the 2015-2016 season. So far, just over 11,000 cases have been confirmed through clinical laboratories, just under seven percent of all tested specimens. This is lower than this statistic was in previous years, by a few percentage points on average. Meanwhile, week 50, or two weeks ago, appears to have been the peak of this flu season. During week 51, the numbers began to fall. We may see a rise in the coming weeks as the effects of holiday travel become more evident. However, a rise does seem unlikely as much of this season has been so light. Influenza-related deaths remain low at 1.2 percent below the epidemic threshold, and pediatric deaths are at a four year low. Reports of influenza-like-illness, or unconfirmed cases, are also the lowest they have been since the 2009-2010 season. All signs point to a very light season through the end of March. FluNearYou data confirms this, showing just over two percent of its users reporting flu-like symptoms. By The Numbers: In the United States, the CDC reported: Flu Cases (Laboratory Confirmed) – 282 (2.5% of specimens tested) Influenza A – 157 (55.7%) Influenza B – 125 (44.3%) Flu-Related Deaths (Percentage) – 6.0% (1.2% 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 Eastern Mediterranean is the only region reporting a significant increase in flu cases over the past three weeks, according to data provided by the World Health Organization. All other global regions showed either minor increases or decreases, but very little change was seen in general. There continues to be a fairly equal split between influenza A and B, more or less reflective of what we are seeing in U.S. data. Staying Healthy Despite how late it is in the season (and how mild this season has been so far) if you haven’t received a flu shot yet, now is the time. January and February can be the worst months for influenza and having the shot will not only protect your from the virus, but it will provide additional protection if you become sick, according to recent CDC and WHO studies. Schedule your flu shot with Passport Health today or even consider scheduling an on-site flu clinic for your workplace. 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 giving the latest updates on influenza spread during flu season. It is posted every Wednesday from September to April and focuses on regional outbreaks, global spread and ways to avoid infection.