ARKANSAS (KFSM) — 38 people have now died from influenza in Arkansas this flu season according to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).
The ADH’s weekly flu report noted that the state has reported “widespread” activity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a geographic spread and a “high” level of intensity.
Since September 30, 2018, over 18,600 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers. Last week, the number of tests reported was 15,200, increasing by 3,400 in one week.
In week eight, 69 counties reported influenza cases. The majority of reports came from Pulaski, Benton, Washington, Sebastian, Faulkner, Lonoke, Saline, White, Randolph, Yell, Garland, Franklin, Logan, Boone, and Scott.
The average school absenteeism rate last week was 7.3 percent among public schools. ADH says that 16 schools closed briefly because of the flu.
The CDC has reported a total of 41 pediatric deaths nationwide this season.
Among flu antigen tests that can distinguish between influenza A and B virus types, 92 percent were influenza A, and 8 percent were influenza B.
The proportion of deaths reported to the National Center for Health Statistics attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was below the system-specific epidemic threshold
Since September 31, 2018, three nursing homes in Arkansas have reported influenza outbreaks.