September's Cold, Flu Same As Last Year

PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 21 (UPI) — Almost 2 percent of Americans self-reported they had flu-like symptoms on any given day in September, on par with 2009 and 2008, a U.S. survey indicates.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data asks 1,000 Americans each day whether they had a cold and the flu “yesterday.”

Colds and flu have overlapping symptoms and many Americans’ misunderstand what symptoms constitute “the flu” versus “a cold,” but continuous tracking allows for month and year comparisons and provide information in which to create a trend.

In general, the percentage of Americans who report having had a cold yesterday is roughly three times those who report having the flu yesterday, the survey says.

The 5.4 percent of people reporting cold or flu in September is similar to the same month last year. If the trend continues the number will rise to 7 percent in October, Gallup officials say.

The telephone survey involves roughly 30,000 adults per month, age 18 and older, in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and has a margin of error of 0.6 percentage points.

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