The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index asks 1,000 U.S. adults each day whether they had a cold or the flu "yesterday," in general, the percentage of Americans who report they had a cold on any given day is roughly three times greater than the percentage who report they had the flu, Gallup officials said.
The East having more colds, could reflect the unusually cool October weather in the southern part of the East region and the early winter weather in the Northeast late in the month, keeping more people indoors and giving colds and flu viruses better opportunity to spread, officials said.
An average of 7.3 percent of Americans reported having a cold in October, up from 5.5 percent in September, the survey said.
The prevalence of colds last month is on par with the same month in 2010 at 6.7 percent and 2008 at 7 percent, but only in 2009 -- the year of the H1N1 pandemic -- the percentage of Americans who reported having a cold slightly higher, at 7.7 percent.
An average of 2.1 percent of Americans in October reported having the flu the day before the survey, similar to the levels found in October of last year and in 2008.
The telephone survey of 29,500 U.S. adults in October has a margin of error of .6 percentage points.