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104 flu-related deaths reported


The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), reports 104 flu-related deaths last week in its Weekly Viral Respiratory Diseases Report for clinicians. The weekly activity level was reported "low."
The report provides information on Influenza, COVID-19 and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) activity in the state. The report also compares activities in Arkansas to the U.S. ADH receives reports of only a fraction of COVID-19 cases and flu cases since it only requires reports of flu hospitalizations, deaths, and outbreaks. RSV is not a reportable disease in Arkansas. Therefore, it is important to understand that the information in the weekly update is representative of the timing and location of activity, but it does not reflect the overall disease burden. It is presumed that there are many more people actually affected than the report shows. Clinicians and policymakers may find the report helpful in terms of communicating to colleagues and patients about the current status of viral respiratory diseases in the state and nationwide. Report Key Points for Week 12: • Arkansas reported “Low” or 5 out of 13 for the Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) activity level indicator determined by data reported to ILINet. • Hospital Emergency Department visits reported through Syndromic Surveillance were at 3.75% for Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI), 1.73% for COVID-Like-Illness (CLI), and 0.09% for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). • Outpatient visits for ILI reported through ILINet from the Sentinel Providers were at 2.72%. • No school absenteeism rate last week among public schools due to the spring break. • Arkansas reported 104 influenza-related deaths in the 2023-24 flu season, including 1 pediatric death. Of these, 70.2% were not vaccinated. • Nationally, CDC estimates that there have been at least 30 million illnesses, 340,000 hospitalizations, and 21,000 deaths from flu so far this season. • Arkansas reported 24 COVID-19-related deaths this week with a total of 710 deaths in 2023 and 132 since 01/01/2024. The weekly deaths reflect week reported not date of death. • This flu season, 35 influenza outbreaks have been reported from nursing homes or other congregate setting institutions. • Nationally, the proportion of deaths reported to the National Center for Health Statistics that were attributed to pneumonia, influenza and COVID-19 (PIC) was above the epidemic threshold this week.