LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas has dropped from “Very High” to “High” flu activity in the latest Arkansas Department of Health report.

The report released Wednesday by ADH for the week ending Dec. 17 shows the state is now at 10 on the 13-point scale for influenza activity. This single-point drop moves the state down in ranking from last week’s “Very High” report.

The state has 17,200 cases of flu reported for this season since it began seasonal tracking on Oct. 2, a one-week increase of 1,300 cases. The report was careful to note that reporting requirements mean only a fraction of flu cases in the state are reported to ADH.

ADH is reporting 22 new influenza-related deaths for the week, bringing the season total to 86 including one pediatric death. Of the deaths, 77% were unvaccinated, ADH said in its report. 

For the 2021-2022 flu season the state reported 30 deaths.

Emergency room visits are down slightly compared to the previous week’s report, with 5% of visits flu-related. Last week 6% of visits were flu-related.

ADH reported that 20 nursing homes had reported influenza outbreaks. This is one additional from the previous week’s report.

The National Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports 15 million flu illnesses this season, with 150,000 hospitalizations and 9,300 deaths. This number of deaths shows that the country is above epidemic levels.