UPDATE: Arkansas Flu Deaths Increase to 52

El Dorado --  The number of flu deaths this season has increased to 52 as of Feb. 26, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

The confirmed cases have been recorded since Sept. 29.

The Arkansas Department of Health says there has been flu activity in every county in the state.

The Department of Health said this year’s flu season is causing severe illness and death in adults between the ages of 25 and 50. At the time of the news conference, the ADH said 7 out of 15 victims were in that age group. The ages of the four victims added to the flu deaths total today have not yet been released.

The ADH says multiple hospitalizations in the 25-50 group have also been reported.

It is highly recommended that all individuals in this age group receive a seasonal flu vaccine and promptly visit a doctor should they experience severe flu-like symptoms.

The ADH says the flu is widespread across the state and that this season's numbers so far are similar to last year in terms of flu activity and number of cases.

The most frequently seen flu strain this year is H1N1, which disproportionately affects young to middle-aged adults and pregnant women.
Flu vaccine is available at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and local health units statewide. If you visit a local health unit to get a flu vaccine, please bring your insurance cards with you. If you do not have insurance, the vaccine will be free.

The 2012-2013 flu season was one of the worst in the past three decades, according to the ADH.

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