Poll: Cold, Flu Season Worst In Years

10 percent have symptoms

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — If you’re sniffling and sneezing your way through early 2011, you’re not alone: the number of Americans are fighting off cold and flu symptoms is at its highest in over two years.

A new survey from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index shows 10.2 percent of Americans reported that they were sick in January, up from 10 percent in December, up from the 8.4 percent of people who reported colds last year, and even higher than the 9.2 percent who reported illnesses in 2009.

Dr. Tom Horowitz, a family practitioner with St. Vincent’s Medical Center in L.A, tells KFWB’s Maggie McKay what’s behind the increase.

The poll, which surveyed 1,000 Americans about whether they had experienced cold or flu symptoms, shows more people are catching the flu, which surged 3.1 percent in January, up from 2.4 percent last year and 2.9 percent in 2009.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nationwide flu activity at the end of January was above normal in seven of the country’s 10 surveillance regions, with widespread influenza was logged in 30 states.

Flu-associated illness has killed at least 19 people across 13 states this flu season, including six children, according to the CDC.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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