Flu Report: Viral Plateau March 16, 2016 By Will Sowards Leave a Comment The number of flu cases is still high throughout the United States, but flu spread seems to have stabilized. Have we finally reached a viral plateau? In The U.S.: Wondering about the flu in your community? Click here to view the full interactive Flu Near You map. After 21 weeks, flu spread seems to be slowing down, according to Centers for Disease Control reporting. The last two weeks of data have shown approximately 5,000 cases each, a definite plateau for this point in the season. Despite this good news, nearly half of the 53 jurisdictions are reporting influenza-like-illness. The Southern and Southwestern United States appear to be the hardest hit with Arizona and New Mexico both reporting high caseloads, and most of the South is split between moderate and high levels of activity. Almost the entire United States is categorized as having widespread activity (the highest level), but regional (second highest) activity in the South may indicate the number of outbreaks is falling. FluNearYou is showing very similar data as reports of ‘Flu-Like Symptoms’ and ‘Any symptoms’ have both fallen over the last week. However, FluNearYou does show a higher concentration of cases in New England than the CDC does, possibly indicating an increase in future CDC reporting from that region. By The Numbers: In the United States, the CDC reported: Flu Cases (Laboratory Confirmed) – 4,918 (20.6% of specimens tested) Influenza A – 3,816 (77.6%) Influenza B – 1,102 (22.4%) Flu-Related Deaths (Percentage) – 6.9% (0.8% 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 spread is stable or down throughout most of the world, according to World Health Organization reporting. Africa, the Mediteranean, Europe, and the Americas all had fewer cases this week than in previous weeks. South East Asia and the Western Pacific regions remained stable with generally few cases. As we near the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere, we can expect further case decline globally, at least until flu season picks up in the Southern Hemisphere. Staying Healthy As we near the end of flu season, we can expect an announcement from the World Health Organization on which strains will be in the 2016-2017 flu shot. These strains are meant to provide the most protection against a specific year’s most common viruses. This year’s vaccine was very successful and well matched to the circulating viruses, and it showed how effective influenza vaccination can be. If you have not yet received a flu shot, it isn’t too late. Nor is it too early to schedule your shot for later this year. Appointments are available as early as September 2016 to get the flu shot for yourself or set up an onsite event for your workplace. Simply take a look at our influenza vaccination pages to find out more. 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.