Arkansas Flu Deaths Nearly Doubled in Last 3 Weeks

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansas flu deaths have nearly doubled in the last three weeks. That's according to information in the latest weekly flu report from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).

The report for the week of Jan. 14 to Jan. 20 shows the cumulative flu season count which began Oct. 1 at 70 flu deaths in the state. Of those, 69 were adults and one was a child.

Just two weeks before, the report showed a cumulative flu season count of 36 deaths since Oct. 1, 2017.

Also of note are the number of deaths from pneumonia in the last three weeks:

  • Week 1 (Dec. 31-Jan. 6) 71 deaths
  • Week 2 (Jan. 7-Jan. 13) 96 deaths
  • Week 3 (Jan. 14-Jan. 20) 89 deaths

During the flu season the ADH produces a Weekly Influenza Report for clinicians which provides information on flu activity in the state. The report also compares influenza like illness (ILI) in Arkansas to activity in the U.S. 

ADH says it receives reports of only a fraction of flu cases and cautions that it is important to understand that the information in the weekly update is representative of the timing and location of activity, but it does not reflect the overall burden of disease. It is presumed that there are many more people actually affected than the report shows. 

For Week 3, Arkansas reported “Widespread” activity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for geographic spread of influenza, and “High” or 10/10 for ILI intensity.

Since October 1, 2017, over 28,000 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers. In Week 3, 75 counties reported influenza cases. The majority of reports came from Benton, Washington, Faulkner, Pulaski, Craighead, Sebastian, Pope, White, Jefferson, Randolph, and Franklin.

Among flu antigen tests that can distinguish between influenza A and B virus types, 73 percent were influenza A, and 27 percent were influenza B.

Click here for the latest available weekly update (Jan. 14-Jan. 20).

See also below:
Why the Flu Can Kill a Healthy Person So Quickly (NBC Nightly News Report)


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