Walgreens: As West recovers, flu incidence gains in Northeast

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Walgreens: As West recovers, flu incidence gains in Northeast

While flu incidence appears to recede in the West, influenza-like illnesses are trending in the East, and particularly in the Northeast, according to the latest Walgreens Flu Index released Wednesday.

Week to week, there was little change in the flu incidence heat map issued by Walgreens, though Tennessee moved from red, indicating a high level of flu activity, to orange. Meanwhile, Maine moved from a "green" status, suggesting fewer incidents of flu, to orange.

For the week ending Feb. 17, the top 10 designated market areas experiencing flu activity gains were:

  1. Lincoln & Hastings-Kearney, Neb.;

  2. Memphis, Tenn.;

  3. Salisbury, Md.;

  4. Nashville, Tenn.;

  5. Paducah, Ky.-Cape Girardeau, Mo.-Harrisburg, Ill.;

  6. Philadelphia;

  7. Baltimore;

  8. Youngstown, Ohio;

  9. Lexington, Ky.; and

  10. Traverse City-Cadillac, Mich.

Overall, the top 10 DMAs with flu incidence for that week were:

  1. Oklahoma City;

  2. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas;

  3. Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.;

  4. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.);

  5. Nashville, Tenn.;

  6. Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas;

  7. Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, N.C.;

  8. Shreveport, La.;

  9. Lincoln & Hastings-Kearney, Neb.; and

  10. Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas.

The Walgreens Flu Index is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and ranks those states and markets experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country. The Flu Index provides insight by showing which cities or metropolitan areas are experiencing the most incidences of influenza each week based on Index methodology. The data does not measure actual levels or severity of flu activity.

The Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide, including Walgreens locations in Puerto Rico. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.