Arkansas and Oklahoma have lost 21 people to the flu since September.
In the past two weeks six people have died from the flu in Arkansas. One of the 10 flu deaths in Arkansas this flu season was pediatric.
No new flu deaths were reported in Oklahoma last week, but 11 so far this season.
The 2017-18 flu season saw 228 flu deaths in Arkansas, including 172 people over the age 65 and five children under the age of 18. Based on the percentage of outpatient visits from influenza, the flu season usually peaks in late December and mid-February. Last year, however, it also rose in January because the sharp rise in flu illnesses began in mid-November instead of early December.
For the final week of 2018, Arkansas reported “Regional” activity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for geographic spread of influenza, and “Moderate” or “7/10 for influenza like illness intensity.
Since Sept. 30, more than 2,300 positive influenza tests have been reported to the Arkansas Department of Health online database by health care providers.
In Arkansas last week, 52 of the state’s 75 counties reported influenza cases. The majority of reports came from Garland, Pulaski, Benton, Sebastian, Faulkner, Craighead, Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, and Johnson counties.
Among flu antigen tests that can distinguish between influenza A and B virus types, 73 percent were influenza A, and 27 percent were influenza B, the ADH states in its latest Influenza Weekly Report.
No school absenteeism report was provided last week due to holiday breaks for the public schools.
To date, six of the Arkansas flu deaths were in the 45-64 age group and one over the age 65.
The CDC has reported a total of 11 pediatric deaths nationwide this season.
No reports of influenza outbreaks were reported from nursing homes or other facilities this season.
The proportion of deaths reported to the National Center for Health Statistics attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was below the system-specific epidemic threshold, the ADH report adds.
For Week 51, the geographic spread of influenza was reported as widespread in Guam and 11 states; Puerto Rico and 19 states reported regional activities; 15 states reported local activities; the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and three states reported sporadic activities; and two states did not report.