Flu deaths rise to 36 in Arkansas for 2019-2020 season

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Flu deaths in Arkansas have climbed to a total of 36 for the 2019-2020 season.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) released its Weekly Flu Report Tuesday afternoon showing an increase of three additional deaths from the previous report.

The report states that the average school absenteeism rate last week was 7.6 percent among public schools. As of February 4, 2020, ADH is aware of 23 schools/districts that closed briefly due to the flu this season.

Report Key Points:
• For Week 5, 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, 16,900 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers, with over 2,800 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 603 positive PCR flu tests from private labs this week: 281 tested positive for influenza A, 320 tested positive for influenza B, and 2 tested positive for both A and B. At the ADH lab, 15 samples tested positive for influenza A Subtype H1N1, 4 samples tested positive for influenza B Subtype Victoria, and 2 sample tested negative for influenza this week.

• To date, 36 influenza-related deaths have been reported in Arkansas this flu season, one of them was a pediatric death. CDC estimates a total of 10,000 flu deaths have occurred nationwide including 68 pediatric deaths reported this season.

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