Grab some tissues: A Gallup poll reports that Nevada, California, and New York boast, on average, the most adults who reported having the flu in 2013, while adults in Vermont, South Carolina, and North Dakota boast the lowest daily flu rates.
California has been the only state to be one of the top 10 states with the highest daily flu rates every year since the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index started tracking how often Americans report having the flu in 2008. Likewise, Mississippi is the only state to be one of the top 10 states with the lowest daily flu rates every year.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index asked 500 Americans every night whether they had the flu or a cold “yesterday.” There are a few caveats, the polling company admits. People who are sick may be less likely to pick up the phone. Respondents could also think they have a cold when they actually have the flu — and vice-versa. And some cultures are less likely to admit to illness.
Gallup argues that the states with the highest daily flu rates also have “high percentages of residents who lack health insurance and large Hispanic populations, which may be contributing to the consistently higher flu rates in these states. These populations may be less able to afford or have access to flu shots, which would make them more vulnerable to infection.”
States with The Highest Daily Flu Rates
States with The Lowest Daily Flu Rates
States with The Highest Daily Cold Rates
States with The Lowest Daily Cold Rates
The results are based on telephone interviews conducted between Jan. 2, 2013 and Dec. 29, 2013, and boast a random sample of 178,068 adults age 18 and over. The margin of sampling error is generally ±1 to ±2 percentage points, but Gallup says it may be higher for states with smaller populations, as much as ±4 points.