Flu had a slight uptick in activity across Arkansas last week.
The weekly influenza report from the Arkansas Department of Health provides information on flu activity in the state. The report also compares influenzalike-illness (ILI) in Arkansas to activity in the U.S.
ADH receives reports of only a fraction of flu cases since it only requires reports of hospitalizations, deaths, and outbreaks.
For Week 46, Arkansas reported “Local” activity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for geographic spread of influenza, and “High” or 8 out of 10 for ILI intensity.
Since September 29, 1,200 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers, with over 200 positive tests reported last week. There were 180 positive cases the previous week. 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, 66 percent were influenza A, and 34 percent were influenza B. The previous week, 71 percent of cases were Type A, and 29 percent were Type B.
There were 28 positive PCR flu tests from private labs: 12 tested positive for influenza A, 15 tested positive for influenza B, and 1 tested positive for both A and B. At the ADH lab, 1 tested positive for influenza A subtype H1N1, and 1 tested positive for influenza B subtype Victoria; 2 samples tested negative for influenza.
About 2.6 percent of patients visiting emergency rooms were there for ILI this week. About 3.8 percent of outpatient visits were for ILI.
The average school absenteeism rate last week was 6.7 percent among public schools. This was up from 5.3 percent the previous week.
To date, 3 influenza-related deaths have been reported in Arkansas this flu season. CDC has reported a total of 3 pediatric deaths nationwide this season.
No nursing homes in Arkansas have reported influenza outbreaks.
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