LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The reach and impact of influenza in Arkansas continues to grow.
The Arkansas Department of Health said in its Nov. 2 report that 3,180 positive tests for influenza had been reported since Oct. 2. In the Oct. 26 report, 1,482 positive tests were reported for the month, meaning in the last week of October infection numbers more than doubled.
Four Arkansas residents have died from flu-related illness, according to the Nov. 2 report, an increase of one since the Oct. 26 report. ADH officials said earlier that in the 2021-22 flu season Arkansas had 30 deaths reported due to flu-related illness.
The agency cautions that the 3,180 figure is only a portion of flu cases in the state since it only requires reports of flu-related hospitalizations, deaths and outbreaks.
Also in its Nov. 2 report, the department said that influenza levels in the state are now classified as high. This is up from what had previously been a low ranking on Oct. 26 and passing through the moderate risk level assigned by the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Three nursing homes in Arkansas are reporting influenza infections. The number had been zero in the previous Oct. 26 report.
The average absentee rate for public schools for the last week of October was 7.7%. This is slightly lower than the 7.9% reported on Oct. 26.
The ADH’s weekly influenza report stated that nationally the number of influenza-related deaths is at the epidemic threshold.
The weekly influenza report for Arkansas may be viewed on the Arkansas Department of Health website.