Arkansas flu death toll rises to 27 for 2019-2020 year

Local News
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The death toll continues to rise in the 2019-2020 flu season in Arkansas.

Last week the first child death was reported.

The victims of the flu were between the ages of 45 and 64.

Report Key Points:

• 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 out of 10 for ILI intensity.

• Since September 29, 2019, 10,700 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers, with over 1,400 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, 47 percent were influenza A, and 53 percent were influenza B.

• There were 307 positive PCR flu tests from private labs this week: 131 tested positive for influenza A, 175 tested positive for influenza B, and 1 tested positive for both A and B. At the ADH lab, 4 samples tested positive for influenza A Subtype H1N1, 6 samples tested positive for influenza B Subtype Victoria, and 1 sample tested negative for influenza this week.

• About 4.6 percent of patients visiting emergency rooms this week were there for ILI (Syndromic Surveillance). About 5.1 percent of outpatient visits were for ILI (ILINet sentinel providers).

• The average school absenteeism rate last week was 6.2 percent among public schools. As of January 21, 2020, ADH is aware that 2 schools closed briefly due to the flu this season.

• To date, 27 influenza-related deaths have been reported in Arkansas this flu season, one of them was a pediatric death. CDC estimates a total of 6,600 flu deaths have occurred nationwide including 39 pediatric deaths reported this season.

• Since September 29, 2019, 4 facilities including 2 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) increased but remains below the epidemic threshold this week.

• For Week 2, 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.

The full report can be found below.

WEEK ENDING JAN. 11:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The first child death in the 2019-20 Arkansas flu season has been announced by state health officials.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) reported the pediatric death in its weekly flu report (for the week that ended Jan. 11) released on Tuesday.

The report also sees a jump to 23 in overall flu deaths this season. That’s eight more than in last week’s report.

The child victim was aged 5-17, said the ADH.

Report Key Points:
• For Week 2, Arkansas reported “Widespread” activity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for geographic spread of influenza, and “High” or 9 out of 10 for ILI intensity.

• Since September 29, 2019, 8,800 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers, with over 1,100 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, 48 percent were influenza A, and 52 percent were influenza B.

• There were 298 positive PCR flu tests from private labs this week: 163 tested positive for influenza A, 135 tested positive for influenza B. At the ADH lab, 5 samples tested positive for influenza A Subtype H1N1, 2 samples tested positive for influenza B Subtype Victoria, and 5 samples tested negative for influenza this week.

• About 4.1 percent of patients visiting emergency rooms this week were there for ILI (Syndromic Surveillance). About 4.0 percent of outpatient visits were for ILI (ILINet sentinel providers).

• The average school absenteeism rate last week was 5.4 percent among public schools.

• To date, 23 influenza-related deaths have been reported in Arkansas this flu season, one of them was a pediatric death. CDC estimates a total of 4,800 flu deaths have occurred nationwide including 32 pediatric deaths reported this season.

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