The number of Arkansans who have died from a flu-related illness since Sept. 30 has increased by seven, according to the latest influenza report from the Arkansas Department of Health.

There have been 25 flu-related deaths so far this season in Arkansas, including one pediatric death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 28 pediatric flu-related deaths in the nation this season. The 2017-2018 flu season was the deadliest for Arkansas since the ADH began reporting in 2000. There were 228 deaths related to the flu last season.

Oklahoma has reported 24 flu-related deaths since Sept. 1, with one new flu-related death reported the week of Jan. 30 to Feb. 5. The Oklahoma State Department of Health releases its weekly influenza activity summary on Thursdays.

The recent ADH flu report, which is for the week ending Feb. 9, noted among flu antigen tests that can distinguish between influenza A and B virus types, 90 percent were influenza A and 10 percent were influenza B. It was an increase of about 20 percent in the A virus from the week before.

Insurance claims paid by Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield in Arkansas increased from about 2,900 to about 4,900 from week five to week six, according to the ADH flu report.

School absenteeism rates have stayed about the same in west central Arkansas from the prior ADH flu report, with Polk and Yell counties reporting a rate of higher than 10 percent.

Influenza-like illness is defined by the OSDH as having a fever over 100 degrees combined with a cough and/or a sore throat.