WebMD Predicts Cold and Flu Symptoms to Rise During the Holidays

WebMD Cold and Flu Map data shows Southern, Pacific and Midwestern regions to experience highest levels of cold and flu symptoms leading up to the New Year

NEW YORK, Dec. 19, 2016 / — Using a combination of geo-location data and self-reported information from consumers experiencing influenza-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat and cough, WebMD, the leading source of health information, predicts that the Southern, Pacific and Midwest regions will experience the highest levels of cold and flu in the country between December 25 and December 31. Visitors can see a county-by-county breakdown of the cities currently impacted by cold and flu symptoms, as well as those cities expected to see an increase in the weeks ahead, on the WebMD Cold and Flu Interactive Map. According to the WebMD Cold and Flu Map, the top five cities anticipated to experience the highest levels of cold and flu symptoms are Charleston, SC, San Diego, CA, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Austin, TX, and Richmond, VA.

Sponsored by RB, a leading consumer health and hygiene company, the WebMD Cold and Flu interactive map leverages various data sources, including millions of WebMD Symptom Checker (http://symptoms.webmd.com/symptomchecker) checks per month, to present a real-time analysis of the spread of cold and flu so that consumers can take preventative measures to keep themselves and their families healthy during the holidays. The WebMD Cold and Flu map data has proven to be highly predictive of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prevalence data for cold and flu, and WebMD’s proprietary models predict cold and flu trends up to 4 weeks in advance.

Top 20 U.S. Cities Likely to Experience Highest Rates of Cold and Flu Symptoms December 25-December 31 include:

1             Charleston, SC
2             San Diego, CA
3             Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
4             Austin, TX
5             Richmond/Petersburg, VA
6             Los Angeles, CA
7             Cedar Rapids/Waterloo/Iowa City/Dubuque, IA
8             Kansas City, MO/KS
9             Oklahoma City, OK
10           Raleigh/Durham, NC
11           Washington, DC
12           Ft. Smith/Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers, AR/OK
13           Louisville, KY
14           Baltimore, MD
15           Norfolk/Portsmouth/Newport News, VA
16           Nashville, TN
17           Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
18           Providence/New Bedford, RI/MA
19           Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville, SC/NC
20           Green Bay/Appleton, WI

“The holiday season is a wonderful time of year to connect and celebrate with friends and family, but those celebrations are also opportunities for people to be exposed to more cold and flu germs,” says Michael Smith, MD, chief medical editor and medical director of WebMD. “By knowing the cold and flu symptom prevalence in their area, visitors can plan ahead and take preventative measures to protect themselves and their families from cold and flu during the holidays.”

For additional tips on how to prevent or treat cold and flu, visit the WebMD Cold, Flu, and Cough Health Center:http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/.

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