Health

Philly Ranks as One of the Worst Cities for the Flu This Year in a New Report

Wash your hands, everybody.

Photograph by iStock/Tero Vesalainen

Does it suddenly seem like you and everyone you know is sick? Well, it’s not just you: The flu this year has been a doozy — and deadly. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that this flu season has seen 53 pediatric influenza-related deaths so far.

Making matters worse, the flu is reportedly particularly bad in Philadelphia this year. According to a new report by Doctors Report Illness Tracker — a website that uses diagnoses from doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals to track the spread of diseases — Philadelphia is ranked number seven among the top cities for flu severity.

Related: Where to Get a Free Flu Shot in Philadelphia

The rankings are based off a 0 to 10 illness severity scale, which uses the Doctors Report algorithm to determine severity. The algorithm takes into account everything from the number of diagnosed and reported cases from doctors’ offices to comparing the current outbreak with historical trends. On the scale, Philadelphia is ranked at 7.0 — less severe than the place Doctors Report ranked at number one, Minneapolis, Minnesota, which earned a 9.5 on the scale.

Doctors Report’s ranking of the top 14 metro areas for flu severity are as follows:

1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, 9.5
2. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC, 9.5
3. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA, 9.0
4. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA, 9.0
5. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN, 8.0
6. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL, 7.5
7. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, 7.0
8. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, 7.0
9. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX, 6.5
10. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA, 6.0
11. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, 5.5
12. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, 5.0
13. Pittsburgh, PA, 5.0
14. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI, 4.5

If you’re worried about getting the flu yourself, the CDC has some tips for you. Their first step is to get a vaccine. While they recommend getting one by the end of October, it’s not pointless to get one now. In fact, there are plenty of spots around town where you can get one for free. And as always, follow some common sense advice: wash your hands; avoid sick people; and don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.

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