Flu Report: Where Is The Flu Headed? February 3, 2016 By Will Sowards 1 Comment The numbers of flu cases and influenza-like-illness are not quite falling yet, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control. But, could we see even more cases in the coming weeks? In The U.S.: Wondering about the flu in your community? Click here to view the full interactive Flu Near You map. Confirmed flu cases are down from last week, but only slightly, as we near the end of January reporting from the CDC. With a week delay on information, it can be hard to gauge what will happen next. FluNearYou is reporting an increase in self-reported ILI activity through their user-based service. Normally, if there is an increase in reported activity on services like FluNearYou, we will shortly see a similar increase in CDC reporting. But, ILI and confirmed cases are not the same thing, as we have noted before. For most of this season, ILI has been skirting the national baseline for influenza cases. Meanwhile, confirmed cases have been relatively low, and flu-related deaths have been almost historically low. This indicates that while we may see some increase in ILI, the amount of actual illness (i.e. individuals who have the flu and not something else) may vary. For now, the CDC is reporting decreased ILI across the United States. Only Puerto Rico has high activity, three states (Connecticut, Maryland and South Carolina) have moderate activity, and five states (Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Virginia) are experiencing low activity. New York City and 42 states have minimal to no activity based on data collected by the CDC through the ILINet. By The Numbers: In the United States, the CDC reported: Flu Cases (Laboratory Confirmed) – 680 (5.0% of specimens tested) Influenza A – 500 (73.5%) Influenza B – 180 (26.5%) Flu-Related Deaths (Percentage) – 7.2% (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 Influenza cases are slowly rising globally as some regions experience higher levels of flu activity. Europe and the Americas show the highest increase, and the Western Pacific retains a large amount of activity. If you plan on traveling to Europe, Central America, South America or the Pacific Islands, be sure you are vaccinated against the flu. Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asia all show signs of declining influenza activity, possibly signalling an end to the flu season in some regions of the Northern Hemisphere. So far, influenza strains are similar in all regions, meaning there is little likelihood for a ‘late’ outbreak or other variations from what has so far been anticipated. Staying Healthy Staying flu free while you travel is just the first step. Emerging diseases like Zika, chikungunya and Ebola pose a threat to travelers venturing into new territories. Infections like yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and polio are older dangers that some travelers may come across in their journeys. Be sure you are informed and protected before you go on trip, just as you do by getting a flu shot. Passport Health clinics are uniquely suited to provide you and your family with the highest quality travel medical care before your trip. Schedule your appointment today by calling or book online now. 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.