4 more dead from flu, state total reaches 69 deaths

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Four more deaths have been reported due to the flu. The state total has now reached 69 deaths.

Report here: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/pdf/Weekly_Influenza_Report_Week_Ending_Saturday_February_29,_2020.pdf

Report Key Points:

• For Week 9, Arkansas reported “Widespread” activity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for geographic spread of influenza, and “High” or 10 out of 10 for ILI intensity. 

• Since September 29, 2019, 30,750 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers, with over 2,260 positive tests reported this week. Please note that reported cases reflect only a portion of the actual numbers of flu cases in the state. 

• Among flu antigen tests this season that can distinguish between influenza A and B virus types, 51 percent were influenza A, and 49 percent were influenza B. 

• There were 543 positive PCR flu tests from private labs this week: 264 tested positive for influenza A, 276 tested positive for influenza B, and 3 tested positives for both influenza A and B. At the ADH lab, 1 sample tested positive for influenza A Subtype H1N1, 1 sample tested positive for influenza B Subtype Victoria, and 1 sample tested negative for flu this week. 

• About 5.6 percent of patients visiting emergency rooms this week were there for ILI (Syndromic Surveillance). About 9.3 percent of outpatient visits were for ILI (ILINet sentinel providers). 

• The average school absenteeism rate last week was 6.6 percent among public schools. As of March 3, 2020, ADH is aware of 41 schools/districts that closed briefly due to the flu this season. 

• To date, 69 influenza-related deaths have been reported in Arkansas this flu season, one of them was a pediatric death. CDC estimates a total of 18,000 flu deaths have occurred nationwide including 125 pediatric deaths reported this season. 

• Since September 29, 2019, 11 facilities including 9 nursing homes have reported influenza outbreaks. 

• Nationally, the proportion of deaths reported to the National Center for Health Statistics attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) remains below the epidemic threshold this week. 

• For Week 8, the geographic spread of influenza was reported as widespread in Puerto Rico and 48 states, and regional in 1 state. The District of Columbia and 1 state reported local activity, the U.S. Virgin Islands reported sporadic activity, and Guam did not report. 

• You can report flu year-round and view the weekly influenza report during the influenza season at: http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/influenza.You can also access the reporting website directly at: https://FluReport.ADH.Arkansas.gov. For Additional National and International Influenza Surveillance Information: World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int/influenza/gisrs_laboratory/flunet/en/index.html. CDC – Seasonal Influenza (Flu) – Weekly Report: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/

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