TRI-CITIES, Tenn./Va. (WJHL) – The Tri-Cities region is among the ten most active areas in the country for flu this season, according to the Walgreens Flu Index.
Walgreens’ interactive map depicts the United States and breaks down each state’s flu activity by varying degrees from low to high. For the week ending on Nov. 26., the Tri-Cities was ranked as the 9th-highest designated market area (DMA) in the country for flu activity.
The DMA includes News Channel 11’s entire coverage area, including Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and parts of Eastern Kentucky.
The Nashville DMA was right behind the Tri-Cities with the No. 10 spot, Chattanooga was ranked No. 7, and the Knoxville DMA saw even more flu activity as the second-most active DMA in the nation, according to Walgreens.
The most flu-active DMA in the United States during that week was El Paso, Texas.
Tennessee as a whole saw the second-most flu activity of all the states and territories in the country for the week ending Nov. 26. Walgreens reported only Mississippi had more flu activity.
The Walgreens Flu Index is created using “retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide.” The map does not depict the severity of flu cases.
Ballad Health informed News Channel 11 on Tuesday that for the week of Nov. 27 – Dec. 3, the hospital system cared for 1,641 outpatient and urgent care flu cases. In addition, Ballad Health had 107 hospitalized flu patients on Dec. 3 and 115 on Dec. 4.
A Ballad spokesperson said flu hospitalizations have ranged from 105 to 124 since Nov. 25.