LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – State health officials said Tuesday that the flu in Arkansas has claimed five additional lives for the second week in a row.

The Arkansas Department of Health reported Tuesday that flu activity in the state remains in the “very high” range for the week ending Nov. 12. The flu report said that since Oct. 2, over 7,000 cases and 14 deaths have been reported.

Last week’s report totals showed 5,031 cases and nine deaths.

The ADH is careful to point out that these numbers are only a fraction of the actual infections due to reporting requirements.

School absenteeism rates average 7.6% for Arkansas, with Calhoun County the lowest at 4.2% and Phillips County the highest at 14.29%. Currently four nursing homes in the state have reported flu outbreaks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 2.8 million infections, 23,000 hospitalizations and 1,300 deaths due to flu in the United States for the week ending Nov. 12.