State College, PA, November 29, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- Flu season is in the air and Americans across the country are rolling up their sleeves for flu shots. Now, consumers may add the AccuWeather.com Flu Index™ to their arsenal of measures to avoid catching influenza.
The flu impacts schools, workplaces, and families. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five to twenty percent of the population becomes ill from influenza each year. The exclusive Flu Index on AccuWeather.com is updated regularly for every ZIP code in the country, and takes into account a number of variables, including weather effects and demographic factors, to convey the likelihood of transmission on a scale that ranges from low to extreme. Armed with the level of risk, one can take necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families.
“In addition to the kinds of ‘flu weather’ your mother warned you to avoid, we consider many other factors,” said Michael Steinberg, AccuWeather.com Senior Vice President and meteorologist. AccuWeather’s proprietary algorithms reflect and weigh the impact of various factors on the symptoms and severity of influenza. “For example, if you spend time outdoors, you are less likely to catch the flu than when cooped up indoors. But the likelihood that you will engage in outdoor activities is very dependent on the weather.” Another key consideration included in the index is the current prevalence of influenza. As the number of people in a geographic area with the flu increases, so does the risk of transmission.
The AccuWeather.com Flu Index is available as part of the local forecasts on AccuWeather.com. It is one of a number of health-related indices available exclusively from AccuWeather including the Cold Index™, Migraine Index™, Sinus Headache Index™, Asthma Index™, and Arthritis Index™.
About AccuWeather, Inc. and AccuWeather.com
AccuWeather, The World's Weather Authority®, presents accurate, localized, branded forecasts and severe weather bulletins to over 110 million Americans each day via the Internet, mobile devices and IPTV, through the airwaves, in print and on digital signage. The 113 meteorologists at AccuWeather deliver a portfolio of customized products and services to media, business, government, and institutions, and inform millions of visitors worldwide through the free AccuWeather.com website. AccuWeather also provides content onto more than 20,000 third-party Internet sites, including CNN Interactive, ABC's owned and operated stations, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Visit www.accuweather.com for more information.