CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Illinois has the dubious distinction of being the “sickest” state in the country this week.
Four-point-eight percent of Illinois’ population are experiencing flu like symptoms. That’s more than 608,000 people who are sick this week.
“We’re seeing the national illness levels at 4.1 percent so Illinois is above the norm,” said Inder Singh, Founder, CEO, of Kinsa, the maker of the “Smart Thermometer.”
Kinsa’s app tracks fever readings, symptoms, diagnoses, medication doses and other notes in a time-stamped log.
Singh said it offers real-time guidance based on age and fever reading, so you know when you should call a doctor and what to do next.
“We have well over a million users. We get about 25,000 temperature readings a day. Our data comes in real time,” Singh said.
He said they’re receiving information in the home, information that the CDC and the health system aren’t able to obtain as early and as accurately.
“That data comes in so we know where approximately fevers are spiking, where specific symptoms are spiking. What we are looking at is the percentage of people who use our product who are sick. That’s where we derive these percentages,” Singh said.
Illinois is the sickest state this week. This is higher than it was at this time last year. Right now Illinois is near the peak of what it was last year.
In Chicago, 4.8 percent of people are sick, similar to the state percentage. In Bloomington and in Springfield, 4.7 percent are sick.
“We looked at our data and compared it with the system’s data and it’s very, very accurate. It’s just that our data is much earlier than the system gets its data. That’s how we determine and understand what percentage of people are sick and where illnesses high or where illness are rising or decreasing,” Singh said.
“The challenge with any system that gets data from the health care system is that not everyone visit’s the doctor and when you visit the doctor, you may or may not be exhibiting symptoms on that particular day. We are getting data even before they ever visit the doctor. There is no bias and we’re seeing the entire illness episode so we can understand whether the illness is severe. Is it a rapidly rising temperature? Does it last four to five days?” he said.
About 13.3 million people nationwide are sick right now. Last week, Missouri was the sickest state in the country.
“This is a much worse flu season than in year’s past. You’re seeing illness that is much more severe, longer lasting fevers for multiple days. It’s a season where we need to take precautions,” Singh said.