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ADH: Flu still minimal in Arkansas

May 13, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.

During flu season, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) produces a Weekly Influenza Report for clinicians. The report 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. Therefore, it is 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. Clinicians and policy makers may find the report helpful in terms of communicating to colleagues and patients about the current status of the flu season.

Report Key Points:

• For Week 18, Arkansas reported "Minimal" or 2 out of 13 for Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) activity level indicator determined by data reported to ILINet.

• Since September 27, 2021, 14,345 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers. 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 in Arkansas, 90 percent were influenza A, and 10 percent were influenza B.

• More than 1 percent of patients visiting emergency rooms this week were there for ILI (Syndromic Surveillance). More than 1 percent of outpatient visits were for ILI (ILINet sentinel providers).

• The average school absenteeism rate last week was about 6.8 percent among public schools while Ouachita County school were at 6.45 percent.

• Arkansas reported 24 influenza-related deaths this flu season. In 2020-21 season, Arkansas also reported 24 influenza-related deaths.

• Nationally, CDC estimates that, so far this season, there have been at least 6.8 million flu illnesses, 59,000 hospitalizations, and 3,600 deaths from flu, 24 of the deaths are in pediatric patients.

• Since September 27, 2021, 1 nursing home in Arkansas has reported an influenza outbreak.

• Nationally, the proportion of deaths reported to the National Center for Health Statistics attributed to pneumonia, influenza and COVID-19 (PIC) is above the epidemic threshold this week. PIC mortality is due primarily to COVID-19 and not influenza.

You can report flu year-round and view the weekly influenza report during the influenza season at:

http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/influenza.You can also access the reporting website directly at: https://FluReport.ADH.Arkansas.gov. For Additional National and International Influenza Surveillance Information:

World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/tools/flunet

CDC - Seasonal Influenza (Flu) - Weekly Report: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/

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2021-2022 Influenza Outbreak Response/Epi Report (

Print Headline: ADH: Flu still minimal in Arkansas

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