The number of deaths related to flu climbed to 4 this week while the Arkansas Department of Heath (ADH) reports flu activity is "Moderate."
ADH produces a Weekly Viral Respiratory Diseases Report for clinicians. 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 47: • Arkansas reported “Moderate” or 7 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 3.66% for Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI), 3.53% for COVID-Like-Illness (CLI), and 1.54% for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). • Outpatient visits for ILI reported through ILINet from the Sentinel Providers were at 3.29%. • Arkansas reported 4 influenza-related deaths in the 2023-24 flu season. • Nationally, CDC estimates that there have been at least 1.2 million illnesses, 12,000 hospitalizations, and 740 deaths from flu so far this season. • Arkansas reported no COVID-19-related deaths this week and 584 deaths since 01/01/2023. • This flu season, 1 influenza outbreak has 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 and influenza (P&I) was above the epidemic threshold this week.