No Area Being Spared As Flu Covers Country.
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Flu activity remained widespread across most of the United States in the weekended January 6, according to the Walgreens Flu Index.
The index tracked a particularly high level "flu activity" over a wide swath of Texas during the week. Other states with the most flu activity in the period were Iowa, Idaho, Arkansas and Nebraska.
Each week during flu season, the Walgreens Flu Index ranks U.S. cities and states with the most flu activity. The index is compiled using data from Walgreens locations nationwide on prescriptions for the antiviral medications used to treat influenza, according to the company, which introduced the index in 2014 to provide a resource for local health departments, media outlets and consumers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also tracks the flu. Its Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report provides details on such things as the number of people who have the flu, the severity of the most prominent of the influenza viruses collected by U.S. labs, flu-associated hospitalizations, pediatric deaths from the flu and the antiviral resistance of the most common flu viruses.
Flu season in the United States typically starts in October and ends in May, peaking from December to February. The influenza season started earlier this year and was shaping up to be one of the worst in recent years, the CDC reported this month.
As flu activity appeared to be peaking, Rite Aid Corp. urged people to get vaccinated against the flu. "Though it takes two weeks to gain full protection against the flu, getting a flu shot as soon as possible is the single best way to fight the flu," said Jocelyn Konrad, executive vice president of pharmacy at Rite Aid.