Anaheim, Calif. Tops America's 'AhH-Choo! Index'

LAKELAND, Fla. -- How many sneezes is too many for one city?  Where does your city rank on the Ahh-Choo! Index?  Anaheim, Calif., might be home to baseballs Angels, but during cold and flu season the city is anything but heavenly.  According to statistics compiled by Surveillance Data Inc. (SDI) for the 2003-04 cold and flu season, Anaheim had the highest incidences of colds and flu in the United States last year1. There is only one way to avoid the top spot on this seasons list: protection.


In fact, John C. McGinley, Dr. Perry Cox on the NBC-TV comedy Scrubs, hit the streets of Anaheim to dispense health tips and humor, challenging residents to stay off this years list.  McGinley offered residents quick and easy tips to protect against colds and flu, such as an immunity-boosting diet with antioxidant-rich orange juice, getting plenty of rest, and frequent hand washing.


Although Anaheim tops the Ahh-Choo! Index based on reported cold and flu activity, the city is not alone ... after all, misery does love company.  McGinley also unveiled the following cities that round out the Top 20.  For a complete list, visit: ( )



     1. Anaheim, Calif.            11. Greenville, S.C.

     2. Atlanta, Ga.                  12. Albany, N.Y.

     3. Los Angeles, Calif.     13. Seattle, Wash.

     4. Manchester, N.H.        14. Des Moines, Iowa

     5. St. Louis, Mo.              15. Baltimore, Md.

     6. Riverside, Calif.           16. Chicago, Ill.

     7. Dayton, Ohio               17. Philadelphia, Pa.

     8. Washington, D.C.       18. San Francisco, Calif.

     9. Las Vegas, Nev.          19. Huntington, W.Va.

     10. Pittsburgh, Pa.           20. Louisville, Ky.



Americans need to focus on protection against colds when the sick season approaches, said Kenneth Bock, MD, and author of The Road to Immunity.  Simple daily activities such as exercising regularly, getting plenty of rest and eating a well-balanced diet, including antioxidant-rich orange juice, may help boost the immune system and protect people against the worst that cold and flu season brings.


Layers of Protection

Cities and citizens can lessen their suffering during cold and flu season as long as they remember to P.R.O.T.E.C.T. themselves.  The following tips will help keep cities off of Americas Ahh-Choo! Index.

  Experts say washing hands is the best way to prevent the spread of cold and flu germs3.


The Ahh-Choo! Index is a list of American cities that reported the most cases of respiratory illness during the peak week of the 2003-04 cold and flu season -- the week of December 26, 2003.  Statistics were provided by

Surveillance Data Inc. (SDI).


1.  Results determined by percent of the population affected with a respiratory illness during the peak week of last years cold and flu season -- the week of December 26, 2003.







Source: Florida Department of Citrus