It's that time of year again when you can't leave the house without encountering someone sneezing, coughing and sniffling. And according to two new reports, Connecticut residents should dose up on vitamin C because it's one of the most — if not the most — sick state in the country right now.
Kinsa, a smart thermometer that allows users to track their symptoms, surveyed its users to find the states reporting the most flu symptoms. Connecticut landed at number one with 5.26 percent of users experiencing flu-like symptoms. According to a release, Kinsa aggregated "tens of millions of anonymous data inputs from nearly a million households" to create its list.
"Because the first device used when illness strikes is a thermometer, Kinsa collects medically accurate temperature readings along with symptoms from someone as soon as they fall ill, before they even enter a healthcare system," the release states. "Kinsa’s illness signal is updated in real-time, while others (including CDC) lag weeks behind, and even then only reports on flu-like illness instances when a healthcare provider was seen. Not everyone sees a doctor, but they do take their temperature."
According to this data, half of the "sickest" states in the country are found in the northeast.
Apartment Guide, a real estate and lifestyle site, did its own study from a different angle. According to the CDC, about 45 million Americans came down with the flu between October 2018 and February 2019. The site set out to find which states are most likely to become flu-ridden, according to historical data.
Apartment Guide found that Connecticut is the third worst state for the flu, historically.
"We took a look at flu season numbers over the past six years from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control during February — generally considered to be peak flu season — and assigned weighted scores for minimal, low, moderate and high flu outbreak weeks in every state and added up the numbers to determine the 10 worst states for the flu ahead of the 2019/2020 flu season," the site writes.
In this study, Connecticut is the only New England state to make the list.
"As an affluent state, one of the factors that makes the flu bad at times in Connecticut is the number of people that travel abroad and bring back the flu virus from places where the flu shot and other flu preventative measures are less common than in the U.S.
The Stamford area is among the highest in the nation for doctor visits, and the highest of any city among the top 10 states, with an average of $133.20, with a bottle of Ibuprofen retailing for an average of $8.57. Hartford County is where the most cases of the flu occurred last season, and the city of Hartford, despite being the lowest metro area price in the state, still averages $108.77 for a doctor's visit, and has a slightly higher price for Ibuprofen, at an even nine bucks," according to Apartment Guide.