Flu Report: What Is Drug Resistant Influenza? April 6, 2016 By admin Leave a Comment Flu cases have fallen again as we near the end of the 2015-2016 flu season. But, one unfortunate statistic shines a light on the need for vaccination. In The U.S.: Wondering about the flu in your community? Click here to view the full interactive Flu Near You map. Confirmed influenza cases continue to drop as we get closer to the end of the 2015-2016 flu season. The CDC reports 41 states have low to minimal influenza-like-illness activity, eight have moderate activity, and only New Jersey and New Mexico have high activity. FluNearYou’s data shows a very small weekly uptick in cases, but this is likely more related to user demographics than an actual rise. Meanwhile, flu-related deaths are at the lowest they’ve been since the 2011-2012 season, and this statistic never truly crossed the epidemic threshold this year. Despite this great news, this season has one statistic that is somewhat worrisome: antiviral resistance. The CDC conducts resistance tests to see how antiviral drugs are holding up against some of the most common cases of the flu. This year, 1,149 samples were tested for resistance to Oseltamivir and Peramivir. About 1 percent of specimens came back positive for resistance. While this is not entirely unexpected, it does mean some changes may be needed to battle influenza in the future. Other infections like typhoid and tuberculosis have had significant rises in drug-resistant strains in the last decade, leading to calls for increased research into stopping their spread. One percent is still very low, but it underscores points raised by health care advocates regarding research and vaccination. As drug resistance increases, both for influenza and other diseases, vaccination becomes even more important as a first line of defense against infection. By The Numbers: In the United States, the CDC reported: Flu Cases (Laboratory Confirmed) – 4,022 (18.3% of specimens tested) Influenza A – 2,915 (72.5%) Influenza B – 1,107 (27.5%) Flu-Related Deaths (Percentage) – 7.3% (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 Every World Health Organization region is reporting decreased influenza cases. This is the first time this year every region has had a decline, which is a fairly rare occurrence. We will likely see increases in flu activity, especially in the African and Western Pacific regions over the coming weeks as we start into flu season for the Southern Hemisphere. Staying Healthy As has already been mentioned, a key to staying healthy is vaccination. Whether you are planning a trip abroad or would simply like to prepare for the next flu season, Passport Health can help. Schedule your appointment at a local Passport Health clinic online now or call us at . 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.