LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The flu virus has taken the lives of several Arkansans since last week, according to data from the Arkansas Department of Health.

In its weekly report, the ADH reported that five people died from the virus. So far, 19 people in the state have died from the flu this season, including a child.

Flu-related hospitalizations are on the rise. Data shows that 70 people were hospitalized within the last week. The number of Arkansans with the flu has also increased since last week. There are currently 1,425 state residents with the flu, an increase of 348.

Just a few weeks ago, health officials reported that flu activity in the state reached a “very high” level. Dr. Joel Tumlison with the ADH suggested flu vaccinations, noting that the flu rates could last for months.

Health officials also noted that outbreaks in nursing homes across the state are getting worst. Officials reported that eight nursing homes have reported outbreaks. Two weeks ago, only four nursing homes had reported outbreaks.

The report shows that 9,500 positive tests were reported to the ADH online database by healthcare providers since Oct. 2. Health officials stated in the report that the reported numbers only reflect a portion of the actual number of flu cases in the state.

To view the full flu report or past weekly reports, visit Healthy.Arkansas.gov.