Flu Report: 2015-2016 Final Thoughts April 29, 2016 By Will Sowards Leave a Comment In the last week of the 2015-2016 Flu Report, we look at where flu is right now and wrap up the season as a whole. In The U.S.: Wondering about the flu in your community? Click here to view the full interactive Flu Near You map. Just over 2,000 confirmed flu cases were reported by the CDC for week 15, a nearly 30 percent drop from the week before. Reports of influenza-like-illness have fallen to the national baseline at 2.1 percent of outpatient visits. Only one state (New Jersey) reported high activity and another (Minnesota) reported moderate ILI occurrences. FluNearYou’s data supports the CDC’s findings, with fewer than 2 percent of people reporting flu-like symptoms. These are more good signs for this flu season, as it looks like we have had a fairly light one. Fewer than 57,000 cases were confirmed by the CDC this year, and the epidemic threshold for flu- and pneumonia-related deaths was barely touched. Likewise, the fewest pediatric deaths occurred this year since at least 2012. There are many reasons why this year’s sickness may not have been that bad. But, one key factor was the similarity between the most common strains of circulating flu viruses and those against which the flu vaccine offers protection. These types of pairings are not always common, they but can make a huge difference, especially when flu vaccination rates increase. Once again, it is important for us to make sure we receive the flu shot before the 2016-2017 flu season gets underway. By The Numbers: In the United States, the CDC reported: Flu Cases (Laboratory Confirmed) – 2,258 (13.4% of specimens tested) Influenza A – 1,191 (52.7%) Influenza B – 1,067 (47.3%) Flu-Related Deaths (Percentage) – 6.8% (0.7% 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 global rate of flu infection was lower this year than last. However, Europe was hit fairly hard with nearly 14,000 cases in February, the highest of all regions. It is hard to determine now how bad next year’s flu season will be, but this one was unusually low. If you are planning a trip outside the U.S. in late 2016, be sure to get your flu shot along with any other vaccinations or medical items you may need. Staying Healthy Our key to staying healthy for this week is you! Without the support of our readers, subscribers and contributors, we wouldn’t be able to provide this resource to all those who read it every week. We have some changes planned for next year’s flu report that we cannot wait to share with you all. Until then, stay safe and healthy during all of your summer travels. The Flu Report Staff 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.