Arkansas flu deaths up by 15 since last week

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas has received 15 more reports of flu fatalities in the past week, raising the death toll to 140 in what's already become the state's deadliest flu season in at least 17 years.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the 15 deaths were reported to the Health Department in a seven-day span ending Tuesday. Of those deaths, 10 were 65 years or older.

State epidemiologist Dirk Haselow says that the rate of transmission remains high based on information from hospitals and doctor offices. He says that influenza B surpassed influenza A last week for the first time this season.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week that the number of infected patients visiting doctors across the country has reached the level of the 2009 swine flu epidemic.

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