While Baxter County no longer leads the state in public school absenteeism from illness, its rate of 9.37 percent is still above the state average of 7.75 for the reporting week ending Saturday. During the flu season, the Arkansas Department of Health produces a Weekly Influenza Report for clinicians. The report provides information on flu activity in the state.
The report also compares influenza-like illness in Arkansas to activity in the U.S. ADH receives reports of only a fraction of flu cases. Therefore, department officials note it is important to understand 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 there are many more people actually affected than the report shows.
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.
To date, 25 influenza-related deaths have been reported in Arkansas this flu season, including one pediatric death.
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