LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The flu continues to impact Arkansas as the number of flu-related deaths increase and the state holds on to its high ranking for activity.

The Arkansas Department of Health said in its report for the week ending Dec. 31 that the state had seven flu-related deaths for that week, bringing the total of flu deaths to 108 for this flu season. Flu activity in the state is ranked high, scoring 10 out of a possible 13 on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scale for flu activity.

Flu deaths for this season included one pediatric death. The weekly report stated that 77% of those who died were unvaccinated.

The 2021-2022 flu season had 30 deaths in total.

Since tracking began on Oct. 2, 2022, the state has had 18,800 flu cases reported to ADH, an increase of 1,000 since the previous week’s report. The agency points out that this is only a portion of actual cases due to reporting requirements.

Five percent of emergency room visits were due to flu, the same as the previous week’s report. Outpatient visits are down slightly, with 4% of visits due to flu, down from the last week’s 5%.

The number of nursing homes reporting outbreaks remains at 20, the same as the last two previous week’s reporting. School absenteeism was not reported due to the holiday break.