Arkansas flu death toll rises to 33 for 2019-2020 season

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Flu deaths continue to rise for the 2019-2020 season in Arkansas.

As of January 28, 2020, The Arkansas Department of Health is aware that 4 schools/districts closed briefly due to the flu this season.

Report key points:

• For Week 4, 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, 13,200 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers, with over 1,900 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 420 positive PCR flu tests from private labs this week: 230 tested positive for influenza A, 189 tested positive for influenza B, and 1 tested positive for both A and B. At the ADH lab, 18 samples tested positive for influenza A Subtype H1N1, and 4 samples tested positive for influenza B Subtype Victoria; no sample tested negative for influenza this week.
• About 5.6 percent of patients visiting emergency rooms this week were there for ILI (Syndromic Surveillance). About 5.3 percent of outpatient visits were for ILI (ILINet sentinel providers).
• The average school absenteeism rate last week was 7.4 percent among public schools. As of January 28, 2020, ADH is aware that 4 schools/districts closed briefly due to the flu this season.
• To date, 33 influenza-related deaths have been reported in Arkansas this flu season, one of them was a pediatric death. CDC estimates a total of 8,200 flu deaths have occurred nationwide including 54 pediatric deaths reported this season.
• Since September 29, 2019, 4 facilities including 2 nursing homes have reported influenza outbreaks.
• Nationally, the proportion of deaths reported to the National Center for Health Statistics attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) decreased and remains below the epidemic threshold this week.
• For Week 3, the geographic spread of influenza was reported as widespread in Puerto Rico and 48 states, and regional in 1 state. The District of Columbia and 1 state reported local activity, the U.S. Virgin Islands reported sporadic activity, and Guam did not report.

The full report can be found below:

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