The Arkansas Department of Health released its weekly flu report Wednesday, which noted seven flu-related deaths and 300 positive cases for the week of Jan. 16-21.
Flu spread remained in the low category, and positive cases were a fraction of the high cases reported in November. Though the ADH report warns that not all cases are reported to the state, the general trends can still be tracked.
The additional seven deaths in the latest report brought the total deaths for the 2022-2023 flu season to 129. This is the second highest count of deaths for a season in the last five years. According to the report, 75% of the deaths are among unvaccinated individuals. The highest death count, 77, were of Arkansans aged 65 and older. One pediatric death was reported.
The average public school absenteeism rate was 7.4%, though select counties — Izard, Jackson and Phillips — reported rates above 10%. Izard County had the highest rate in the state at 12.4%
No outbreaks in nursing homes or congregate living settings were reported for the week of Jan. 16-21, according to the ADH report.