LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Lafayette and Monroe are among the top 10 cities in the U.S. for rising flu activity since the beginning of the year, according to the Walgreens Flu Index.

The index is compiled using retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide and it currently ranks Lafayette second in the nation for increases in flu activity this week, with a 527% increase since last month. Monroe comes in at number 10.

Louisiana comes in seventh overall among the top 10 states with flu activity, Texas tenth.

According to the Walgreens Flu Index, to date, flu activity this season is nearly 600% higher nationwide than during the 2020-2021 flu season during the same period.

“We have seen a consistent uptick in flu activity since Thanksgiving that can likely be attributed to an increase in travel and in-person activities for the holiday season,” stated a press release from the company.

“This latest data reinforces the importance of getting a flu shot as both flu and COVID-19 continue to spread,” said Walgreens Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kevin Ban. “Following an increase in people traveling and gathering for the holiday season, the Walgreens Flu Index has shown a steady uptick in flu activity. We may see this trend continue in the coming weeks as Omicron variant cases surge, putting our healthcare capacity at risk. That’s why the best thing you can do is get your flu shot as soon as possible if you haven’t already.”

During the week ending Jan. 1, the following markets topped the list:

  1. Knoxville, Tenn.
  2. Lafayette, La.
  3. Columbus-Tupelo-West Point-Houston, Miss.
  4. Chattanooga, Tenn.
  5. Oklahoma City, Okla.
  6. La Crosse-Eau Claire, Wis.
  7. Nashville, Tenn.
  8. Tri-Cities, Tenn.-Va.
  9. Paducah, Ky.-Cape Girardeau, Mo.-Harrisburg, Ill.
  10. Monroe, La.-El Dorado, Ark.

The Walgreens Flu Index is updated weekly each Tuesday and is available through an online, interactive map, included below: