LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas is beginning to see an increasing impact by the flu this season, including the state’s first death.

In its latest update, the Arkansas Department of Health reported the state had one death due to influenza in the current flu season. At this same point in the 2021-22 season the state reported 30 influenza-related deaths, ADH stated.

In its Oct. 12 report, ADH stated that a low activity level for Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) was reported to ILINet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for tracking influenza infections.

ADH also reported that Arkansas schools saw an average absentee rate of 6.7% last week. Phillips, Crittenden, and Mississippi counties in east Arkansas had the highest reported absentee rate at just over 10% for the week.

The CDC recommends September and October are the best times to get a flu vaccine. Flu activity is expected to peak in December through February.