Top 10 states where flu virus is hitting hardest

Some states have it worse than others.

Flu season is in full swing and some states are getting hit harder than others.

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Retailer and pharmacy giant Walgreens released results of its annual Flu Index, which looks at internal Walgreens and Duane Reade prescription data for antiviral medications.

Here are the top 10 states where the virus is hitting hardest, for the week ending Nov. 2:

  1. Louisiana
  2. Nevada
  3. Texas
  4. Mississippi
  5. Florida
  6. Alabama
  7. Tennessee
  8. Hawaii
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Arkansas

The findings are "not intended to illustrate levels or severity of flu activity," according to the report, but instead to "show which populations are experiencing the highest incidence of influenza within the U.S. and Puerto Rico each week."

Flu activity has increased since last year: "October data show southern states are experiencing more widespread flu activity this year," the findings pint out. "Index levels are higher in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma and Nevada."

In 2017, the National Center for Biotechnology Information estimated that the flu caused more than 330,000 hospitalizations and a whopping $10.4 billion in direct medical costs to consumers. Some experts predict this year could see similar numbers.

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The flu resulted in at least 37 million illnesses and 36,000 deaths this past year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet, 43 percent of U.S. adults opted not to get the vaccination, including a cohort of anti-vaxers who reject the the medication.

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The CDC suggests everyone six months or older get vaccinated unless told otherwise by a doctor. The shot is "particularly important for people at high risk of serious complications."

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