Flu Season Focuses on Heartland States

Influenza infections in remain high in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Nebraska
Flu season 2024
Walgreens Flu Index February 24th, 2024
Austin (Precision Vaccinations News)

The U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report released last week confirmed a significant increase in seasonal influenza activity. This situation persists in all ten geographic regions.

To better visualize the impact of the ongoing 2024 flu season, Walgreens Flu Index's latest chart highlighted the top ten cities offering antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide. 

As of late February 2024, these are the leading markets:

  1. Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.
  2. Oklahoma City, Okla.
  3. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.).
  4. Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.
  5. Omaha, Neb.
  6. Monroe, La.-El Dorado, Ark.
  7. Clarksburg-Weston, W.Va.
  8. Joplin, Mo.-Pittsburg, Kan.
  9. Cincinnati, Ohio
  10. Columbus-Tupelo-West Point-Houston, Miss.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asserted on March 1, 2024, that outpatient respiratory illness has been consistently above baseline since November 2023.

From a severity perspective, the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance data available on February 29, 2024, shows that 0.7% of the deaths during Week 8 were due to influenza. 

Specifically, 93 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have occurred during the 2023-2024 season, as reported to the CDC.

While most people have already had their annual flu shot, the CDC recommends speaking with your local pharmacist or provider about influenza vaccine boosters in 2024. This suggestion included children over the age of six months.

The Walgreens Flu Index provides state and market-specific information regarding flu activity. It is not intended to illustrate levels or severity of flu activity but rather illustrate which populations are experiencing the highest flu incidence.

Our Trust Standards: Medical Advisory Committee