Over 100 Arkansans have died from the flu this season, the state health department reported Thursday. Since data collection started on Oct. 1, nearly 18,500 illnesses have been reported this season.

The highest count of deaths from the Arkansas Department of Health data is among those 65 and older with 72 deaths reported. People aged 45-64 years old had the next highest count with 23, followed by five in the 25-44 age group and three among 18-24 year olds. One person under 18 died from the flu, according to the ADH. They were aged 5-17.

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Flu spread was very high for several weeks in Arkansas throughout the first few months of 2024, but it has since mellowed. Current spread is in the low levels, according to the health department.

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Since Oct. 1, 35 flu outbreaks have been reported in nursing homes and other communal settings.

The number of flu deaths this season is roughly the same as the number of fatalities in years since 2018, save for two years when COVID-19 caused a decrease in the flu numbers. Last flu season, the ADH reported 160 deaths.

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A majority of the deaths reported this season, 70%, were among people who did not receive a flu vaccination.

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