Why we provide this Influenza Data Explorer

With this Flu Explorer, we aim to provide a helpful resource for epidemiologists, infectious disease researchers, and public health experts to understand the global spread of the influenza virus.

While influenza is not always at the forefront of the public’s mind, it is a significant cause of death globally — it causes 400,000 respiratory deaths each year on average.

Additionally, it is considered one of the leading candidates for a future pandemic. To detect these risks early, the world must closely monitor the situation. Accessible data must be available for those who can help understand and manage the potential threats.

This Flu Data Explorer differs from our widely-used infectious diseases projects, such as the COVID-19 Explorer and the Mpox Explorer. These tools are designed for a broad audience. Unfortunately, flu data is incomplete in many ways, making it harder to communicate. This tool is therefore designed for users with pre-existing knowledge to navigate effectively the complex data published by the World Health Organization.

The explorer also highlights the significant gaps in influenza data. It is an important reminder of the need to improve data collection and reporting.

Before navigating this Explorer, we recommend reading the key insights on our Influenza page; they provide more detail on how to interpret these metrics meaningfully.