Cold and Flu

25 Worst U.S. Cities for the Flu (PHOTOS)

By Miriam Rosen

February 07 2014 04:03 PM EST

Flu Outbreaks Measured by the CDC and Google

Left:, Right: Flu Trends
Left:, Right: Flu Trends

Now that we've entered the thick of the flu season, which runs from early January to late February, flu outbreaks are taking a turn for the worse. So far, according to the CDC, the spectrum of illness for the 2013 – 2014 flu season has been “consistent with that of other influenza seasons.” While this news is comforting, it doesn't quite account for the cities that are now experiencing widespread outbreaks of the flu.

(MORE: State Flu Reports)

Data for the cities worst affected by the flu is provided by the maps, and accompanying statistics, above. On the left is a statewide map published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, showing levels of flu outbreak in any given state: level 1, or green, being the lowest and least concerning, and level 10, or red, being the highest and most widespread. This data has been cross-referenced with the map on the right, posted by Flu Trends, which features readings of "low," "moderate," or "high" for cities based on analyses of where residents are most often Googling "flu" keywords. This tactic came out of research conducted by Google, which showed that when people contract the flu, they’re likely to Google it, its side effects, local vaccination centers, and other “flu”-based search terms.

(MORE: 8 Apps That Will Save Your Life This Season)

Take a look at the cities that are feeling the brunt of the flu. Hopefully you won't find your city.

Next:NEXT: A Fraught Southern City

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