WebMD Predicts Cold and Flu Symptoms to Rise During Holiday Season

WebMD Cold and Flu Map data shows South Central, Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, and Southeast regions to experience highest levels of cold and flu symptoms leading up to the New Year

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NEW YORK, NY, Dec. 18, 2017 – Using a combination of geo-location data and self-reported information from consumers experiencing influenza-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, and cough, WebMD, the leading source of health information, predicts South Central, Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, and Southeast regions will experience the highest levels of cold and flu in the country between December 25 and January 1. According to the WebMD Cold and Flu Map, the top five Designated Market Areas (DMA) anticipated to experience the highest levels of cold and flu symptoms are: Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Fort Smith, AR/ Fayetteville, AR/ Springdale, OK/ Rogers, OK; San Diego, CA; and Charleston, SC.

To view a county-by-county breakdown of the cities currently impacted by cold and flu symptoms, as well as those cities expected to see an increase in the weeks ahead, visit the WebMD Interactive Cold and Flu Map.

Sponsored by RB, a leading consumer health and hygiene company, the WebMD Cold and Flu map uses a combination of geo-location data and information compiled from over 4 million Symptom Checker checks per month to present a real-time analysis of the spread of cold and flu symptoms. The map data has proven to be highly predictive of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prevalence data for cold and flu, and WebMD’s proprietary models predict cold and flu trends up to 6 weeks in advance. The Cold and Flu map enables consumers to take preventative measures to keep themselves and their families healthy during the holidays.

Top 20 U.S. DMAs Likely to Experience Highest Rates of Cold and Flu Symptoms December 25-December 31 include:

  1. Austin (TX)
  2. Baltimore (MD)
  3. Fort Smith/Fayetteville/ Springdale/Rogers (AR/OK)
  4. San Diego (CA)
  5. Charleston (SC)
  6. Oklahoma City (OK)
  7. Rochester (NY)
  8. Salt Lake City (CO, ID, NV, UT)
  9. Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville (NC/VA)
  10. Cincinnati (IN, KY, OH)
  11. Las Vegas (NV)
  12. Kansas City (KS/MO)
  13. Richmond-Petersburg (VA)
  14. Omaha (IA/MO/NE)
  15. Buffalo (NY/PA)
  16. Minneapolis-St. Paul (MN/WI)
  17. Dallas-Ft. Worth (TX)
  18. Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville-Anderson (GA/NC/ SC)
  19. Columbus (OH)
  20. Charlotte (NC/SC)

“As friends and families gather together to celebrate the season, cold and flu viruses are on high alert and ready to pounce,” says Michael Smith, MD, chief medical editor and medical director of WebMD. “Providing this information will raise awareness and equip consumers with information they need to take proactive steps to avoid getting sick.”

WebMD and RB have also launched a Cold and Flu chatbot ( enabling consumers looking for credible cold and flu information to obtain answers to their questions and personalized product recommendations. For additional tips on how to prevent or treat cold and flu, visit the WebMD Cold, Flu, and Cough Health Center at

About WebMD

WebMD Health Corp. is the leading provider of health information services, serving patients, physicians, health care professionals, employers, and health plans through our public and private online portals, mobile platforms, and health-focused publications. The WebMD Health Network includes WebMD Health, Medscape, MedicineNet, eMedicineHealth, RxList, OnHealth, Medscape Education, and other owned WebMD sites.

WebMD®, Medscape®, CME Circle®, Medpulse®, eMedicine®, MedicineNet®,®, and RxList® are among the trademarks of WebMD Health Corp. or its subsidiaries.

WebMD Health Corp. was acquired by Internet Brands in September 2017 and is a key company in the Internet Brands Health vertical.

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Catherine Daniel
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