Arkansas reports 21 deaths last week from flu; 70 for season

(AP) - Arkansas health officials say nearly two dozen people
died from the flu in Arkansas last week, pushing the season's total to 70.Health Department data released Wednesday show that most victims were over age 65. One child is in the total.

During the week ending last Saturday, Arkansas had "widespread" flu activity. The state rated its "influenza-like illness" as "high."

All of Arkansas' 75 counties had flu cases last week. The Health Department data showed that, among emergency room visits last week, nearly 8 percent were for the flu or flu-like illnesses.

Public schools reported an absenteeism rate of 8.85 percent - up from 7.5 percent the week before. The agency says 32 percent of children were absent in Crittenden County, and 24 percent in Grant County.

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