Tracker: Jacksonville among top 10 metro areas with most severe flu

By Francine Frazier - Senior web editor
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A newly expanded website and mobile app that track illnesses based on information from doctors' offices across the country scores Jacksonville as one of the 10-highest metro areas for flu outbreaks.

The nation's top influenza hot spots include Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Miami and Orlando. All of those metro areas, Jacksonville and four others were scored a 9.5 out of 10 on the Doctors Report illness severity scale.

According to the Doctors Report Illness Tracker, the severity level of the flu nationally is 9.5 on a scale of 1 to 10 for the third consecutive week. 

DoctorsReport.com is listing 27 metros according to severity level (High to Serious) with no attempt to assign each a numerical ranking, because the severity levels are so close they can't be distinguished by rankings.

The Doctors Report Illness Tracker draws from a national database of doctor-diagnosed and reported cases over a period of the past seven days. 

Specific metros are listed according to the Doctors Report illness severity scale, with 10 being most severe and 0 being least severe:

Very High

  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH at 9.5.
  • Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC at 9.5.  
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD at 9.5. 
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV at 9.5. 
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL at 9.5. 
  • Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI at 9.5. 
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL at 9.5. 
  • Jacksonville, FL at 9.5. 
  • Richmond, VA at 9.5. 
  • Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY at 9.5. 
  • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA at 9.0.  
  • Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD at 9.0. 
  • Cleveland-Elyria, OH at 9.0. 
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA at 8.5. 
  • Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN at 8.5. 
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL at 8.5.

High

  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX at 7.5. 
  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI at 7.0. 
  • Pittsburgh, PA at 7.0.  
  • Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN at 6.5.
  • Columbus, OH at 6.5. 
  • Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI at 6.5.
  • Austin-Round Rock, TX at 6.5. 

Serious

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI at 6.0. 
  • Birmingham-Hoover, AL at 6.0. 
  • Raleigh, NC at 6.0. 
  • Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN at 6.0

The current severity rankings for Flu A, a different category of influenza, which can be severe are:

Very High

  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL at 9.5. 
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL at 9.0. 
  • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA at 8.5.  

High

  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL at 8.0.  
  • Raleigh, NC at 8.0.  
  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI at 7.0. 
  • Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI at 7.0.  
  • Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN at 7.0.  
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA at 6.5.  

Serious

  • Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD at 6.0.  
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, at 6.0.  
  • Providence-Warwick, RI-MA at 6.0.  
  • Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC at 5.5.  
  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH at 5.5.  
  • Birmingham-Hoover, AL at 5.0. 
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV at 5.0.  
  • Oklahoma City, OK at 5.0.  

Influenza (“flu") is a respiratory illness caused by viruses infecting the nose, throat and lungs. The flu can be severe and, especially for the young and very weak, be life threatening. Flu-related illnesses that can result include pneumonia, asthma and dehydration.

The Influenza A virus also may be serious, especially for infants, elderly and immune compromised people. 

For more, visit www.doctorsreport.com.

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