Western, Northeastern states see surge in flu activity

The Walgreens Flu Index, a weekly report that provides state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, for the week beginning Jan. 12 was released Tuesday.

The report covers the Jan. 5-12 period.

The designated market area of Knoxville, Tenn., saw the highest incidence of flu activity, followed by Oklahoma City; Tri-Cities (Tennessee-Virginia border region); and a three-way tie: Paducah, Kentucky; Cape Girardeau, Missouri; and Harrisburg, Illinois.

On a state-by-state basis, Oklahoma ranks No. 1 for flu activity, followed by Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi.

The area that saw the sharpest rise in cases since the last report was an area covering El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico.  No. 2 was the Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem region of North Carolina, followed by Buffalo, New York; Phoenix; and Los Angeles. Arizona saw the highest statewide gains in flu activity, followed by California, Massachusetts, Oregon and Rhode Island.

The Walgreens Flu Index utilizes retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across all Walgreens locations nationwide. The data is then analyzed at the state and geographic market levels to measure the absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per-store average basis. The index does not include markets in which Walgreens has less than 20 retail locations.