Flu “sporadic” in Arkansas, says weekly report

State News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The first weekly flu report for a new season shows influenza in Arkansas described as “sporadic.”

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) released the report Wednesday for the week ending October 5.

The report also compares influenza-like-illness (ILI) in Arkansas to activity in the U.S.

ADH advises that it receives reports of only a fraction of flu cases since it only requires reports of hospitalizations, deaths, and outbreaks. Therefore, it is important to understand that the information in the weekly update is representative of the timing and location of activity, but it does not reflect the overall burden of disease. It is presumed that there are many more people actually affected than the report shows.

Key points:
• Since September 29, 2019, over 66 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers. Reported cases reflect only a portion of the actual numbers of flu cases in the state.
• Among flu antigen tests that can distinguish between influenza A and B virus types, 72 percent were influenza A, and 28 percent were influenza B.
• There are 11 positive PCR flu tests from private labs this week: 3 tested positive for influenza A and 8 tested positive for influenza B. At the ADH lab, no samples were tested for influenza this week.
• About 1.4 percent of patients visiting emergency rooms were there for ILI this week. About 1.3 percent of outpatient visits were for ILI.
• The average school absenteeism rate last week was 5.2 percent among public schools.

To date, no influenza-related deaths have been reported in Arkansas this flu season.

A total of 120 deaths were reported last flu season.

Click here to view the full report.

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