Flu Report: A Big Drop March 30, 2016 By Will Sowards Leave a Comment Week 11 has shown a tremendous drop in flu cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Are we finally nearing the end of the 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. Confirmed cases of influenza have dropped dramatically over the last week of CDC data. Less than 5,000 confirmed cases were reported across the United States, which is half of what was reported the week before. However, the percentage of positive specimens rose to over 20 percent. This rise isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. It may just mean that more individuals who believe they have the flu are reaching out to doctors or other healthcare professionals. FluNearYou, which conducts live, user-generated reporting, shows a decline in flu-like symptoms across the country. Users have also reported fewer instances of ‘any symptoms’ that could be associated with the flu. We may see even steeper declines in symptom reporting over the coming weeks. Most states have decreased influenza-like-illness with only three (New Mexico, Kentucky and New Jersey) reporting very high ILI levels. Twelve additional states are reporting high to moderate activity with most in the southwest and northeast. The south appears to be the first area headed toward full recovery as the region nears only sporadic levels of flu activity, the first region to drop that low. By The Numbers: In the United States, the CDC reported: Flu Cases (Laboratory Confirmed) – 4,816 (20.1% of specimens tested) Influenza A – 3,557 (73.9%) Influenza B – 1,259 (26.1%) Flu-Related Deaths (Percentage) – 7.4% (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 Once again, flu cases are down globally, according to World Health Organization data. Every region except the Mediterranean and Africa saw fewer cases, and these two regions remained stable. This is great news for travelers, as the likelihood of running into active influenza is very low. However, other infections associated with spring and summer, like yellow fever, are on the rise, prompting additional health recommendations for certain areas. Staying Healthy As noted above, although flu is falling, some diseases are still on the rise. Angola’s yellow fever outbreak poses a significant risk to people in the region. If you are planning on traveling to an area with an active outbreak of any kind, take all precautions necessary. This includes: Consulting with a travel health specialist about the risks associated with travel to your destination. Follow recommendations from your travel health specialist regarding which vaccines are required or recommended. Keep up with these recommendations while traveling. This includes washing hands, continuing to take medications, or whatever else you may have been advised. To learn more about staying healthy while traveling, see our travel medicine portal. To schedule your travel health appointment today, call 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.