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Report: Tampa Bay among nation’s top regions for flu outbreaks

By Justine Griffin
Getting a flu vaccine is more important this year as outbreaks have become more severe across the nation. The Tampa Bay area made it onto two lists highlighting the regions with the most severe outbreaks so far. [Times staff]

Tampa Bay is one of the top flu hot spots in the country right now, according to an analysis by the website, DoctorsReport.com

The area made it onto two lists highlighting the regions with the most severe outbreaks for flu and influenza. The Tampa-Clearwater-St. Petersburg market ranked No. 6 out of 14 on a list of influenza outbreaks. The Tampa Bay area also ranked No. 8 on a list of 12 cities for "Flu A", a different but popular strain of influenza.

The Doctors Report Illness Tracker collects information from a national database of doctor-diagnosed and reported cases over the past seven days, according to a press release. Then the website ranks metro areas on a "severity scale," with 10 being the most severe and zero being the least.

Tampa Bay’s score for general influenza was a 7.5. The No. 1 hot spot for influenza in the country is Minneapolis-St. Paul with a 9.5 rating. For the "Flu A" list, Tampa’s score was a 4.5.

DoctorsReport.com is a website and mobile app. It says it uses data from nearly 1 million doctors’ offices nationwide.

Here are the lists:

Top regions of reported influenza, and their scores

1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington — 9.5

2. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia — 9.5

3. New York-Newark-Jersey City — 9

4. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell — 9

5. Cincinnati — 8

6. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater — 7.5

7. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington — 7

8. Washington D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria — 7

9. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington — 6.5

10. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro — 6

11. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson — 5.5

12. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin — 5

13. Pittsburgh — 5.

14. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn — 4.5

Top regions of reported Flu A, a different category of influenza, and their scores

1. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach — 8.5

2. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell — 7

3. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson — 7

4. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington — 6

5. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia — 6

6. New York-Newark-Jersey City — 5.5

7. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin — 4.5

8. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater — 4.5

9. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington — 4

10. Washington D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria — 4

11. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward — 4

12. Pittsburgh — 4