ADH: Only 15 flu-related deaths so far this season; no nursing home deaths


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Since September 27, 2020, 1,733 positive influenza tests have been reported to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) online database by health care providers, and 15 flu-related deaths have been reported, but fortunately, no nursing homes have reported influenza outbreaks this season.

A total of 96 flu-related deaths were reported in the 2019-2020 influenza season in Arkansas.

The ADH produces a Weekly Influenza Report for clinicians that provides information on flu activity in the state. It’s important to remember, however, that ADH receives reports of only a fraction of flu cases since it only requires reports of hospitalizations, deaths, and outbreaks.

For Week seven, Arkansas reported “Minimal” or 1 out of 13 for Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) activity level indicator determined by the data reported.

The ADH stresses that it’s 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.

Among flu antigen tests this season that can distinguish between influenza A and B virus types, 37 % were influenza A, and 63% percent were influenza B.

About 1% of outpatient visits were for ILI (ILINet sentinel providers). The average school absenteeism rate last week was 4.4 % among public schools.

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