With leaves changing and temps dropping, fall is here –but that’s not the only season upon us. Flu season is here and activity is already starting to creep into communities. Today, Walgreens launched its first Walgreens Flu Index® for the 2019-2020 season to help communities, health officials, media and more, get a grasp on flu activity in their area. The Walgreens Flu Index is a weekly report ranking the top markets and states for flu activity in the U.S., including Puerto Rico. The Walgreens Flu Index also ranks the top markets and states showing the largest increases in flu activity week over week, this does not include flu severity.

How We Put the Index Together
Each week during flu season, we pull prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across thousands of Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide. Since its creation, the Walgreens Flu Index continues to serve as an important reminder for people to take preventative measures, such as receiving a flu vaccine, to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities from influenza throughout the flu season.

Why It’s Important to YOU
Now in its sixth season, we’re launching the Walgreens Flu Index earlier – for the first time in October – so consumers can use the tool to view flu activity across markets no matter when it starts in their community, since each flu season is sure to be unpredictable. According to the CDC, the best way to protect yourself from the flu is by getting a flu shot every flu season. It takes about two weeks to develop the antibodies to fight the flu after getting your flu shot, meaning the best way to protect yourself and loved ones is to get it as soon as possible before it spreads in your community. So, what markets are starting to see flu activity heat up? Check them out below:
Top 10 DMAs with Flu Activity
For the Week Ending 10/12/2019
  1. Lafayette, La.
  2. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas
  3. New Orleans, La.
  4. Montgomery-Selma, Ala.
  5. Baton Rouge, La.
  6. Corpus Christi, Texas
  7. Houston, Texas
  8. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
  9. Chattanooga, Tenn.
  10. Tyler-Longview(Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas
Top 10 States with Flu Activity
For the Week Ending 10/12/2019
  1. Louisiana
  2. Texas
  3. Nevada 
  4. Mississippi
  5. Florida
  6. Alabama
  7. Hawaii
  8. Tennessee
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Arkansas
Where to Find the Walgreens Flu Index
Weekly reports of the Walgreens Flu Index are available through an online, interactive map, which allows anyone to search and find information regarding the most current state of influenza in their community –to view the latest report, click here. In addition, monthly updates will be published to the Walgreens Newsroom.

What’s Our Methodology?
The Index is not intended to illustrate levels or severity of flu activity, but rather, based on this methodology, to show which populations are experiencing the highest incidence of influenza within the U.S. and Puerto Rico each week.

Data for the Walgreens Flu Index 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.

If you’re a member of the media and interested in learning more about the Walgreens Flu Index, please contact media@walgreens.com. To learn more about the flu vaccine, visit Walgreens.com/flu or talk to your local Walgreens pharmacist. Patients can also contact pharmacy professionals 24/7 through Pharmacy Chat available on Walgreens.com and the mobile app.