Flu Season Hits Hardest in Oklahoma, Texas as Walgreens Flu Index Unveils Top Markets and States for Flu Activity for 2014-2015 Season



Oklahoma City tops list for overall activity; Texas lands three markets in nation’s top 10

Silver lining for snowbound Bostonians — Beantown, Portland (Ore.) among markets with least flu activity

DEERFIELD, Ill., March 17, 2015 - With flu activity winding down in the U.S., Walgreens today announced the top markets (DMAs) and states for flu activity for this season, according to its season-ending Flu Index examining aggregate prescription data from November 2014 through February 2015.

The states with the highest rates of influenza, according to the Index, were Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee. Portland, Ore., Hartford, Conn. and Boston were the markets with the least amount of flu activity.

“In just its first season, the Flu Index quickly became a resource that people — and news media in particular, came to rely upon, and strong awareness helped deliver a call to action that had a positive impact on flu immunization rates,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of pharmacy and retail operations. “This is another way in which we’re helping to better the health of our communities by providing the preventive health information and services they need.”

The Walgreens Flu Index provides state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and is compiled using retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide. With the ability to generate hyper-local data that’s as specific as a single zip code, the Index was instrumental in driving consumer awareness and prevention within communities, while also serving as a valuable tool for health departments, media and others at the local level.

Top 10 DMAs with Flu Activity

Aggregate data from November 2014 through February 2015

1. Oklahoma City, Okla.

2. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas

3. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

4. Jackson, Miss.

5. Fort Smith-Fayetteville, Ark.

6. Knoxville, Tenn.

7. Austin, Texas

8. Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.

9. Chattanooga, Tenn.

10. Tulsa, Okla.

Top 10 States with Flu Activity

Aggregate data from November 2014 through February 2015

1. Oklahoma

2. Arkansas

3. Mississippi

4. Texas

5. Tennessee

6. Louisiana

7. Alabama

8. Kentucky

9. Nebraska

10. South Carolina

New “Bottom 10” Shows Markets with Least Amount of Influenza Activity

In addition to the top markets for activity, the season-ending Index also shows the bottom 10, suggesting successful prevention efforts in preparation for, and during flu season in these communities, which experienced the lowest levels of influenza.

Markets with Least Flu Activity

Aggregate data from November 2014 through February 2015

1. Portland, Ore.

2. Hartford-New Haven, Conn.

3. Boston, Mass.

4. Fresno-Visalia, Calif.

5. Sacramento, Calif.

6. Tucson, Ariz.

7. Buffalo, N.Y.

8. Providence, R.I.

9. Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.

10. Los Angeles


The Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide. The data 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 20 retail locations.

The Flu Index is not intended to illustrate levels or severity of flu activity, but rather, illustrate which populations are experiencing the highest incidence of flu.

© Copyright Walgreen Co. 2014. All rights reserved

About Walgreens

Walgreens (


), the nation's largest drugstore chain, constitutes the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,229 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens digital business includes Walgreens.com, drugstore.com, Beauty.com, SkinStore.com and VisionDirect.com. Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic and provider practice locations around the country.

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