LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As families prepare for Thanksgiving this week and more holidays around the corner, health officials are urging everyone to stay cautious of respiratory viruses that are spreading.

As of Nov. 19, 2022, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) reported 348 active positive flu cases.

In addition, there have been 19 deaths related to influenza, with one of those deaths being pediatric.

As a result of this uptick in flu cases, pharmacies have seen more people come in to get their flu shots.

Anne Pace is a Pharmacist at Kavanaugh Pharmacy who said she has seen a rise in people coming for their vaccines just over the last few weeks. She stressed the importance of the shot now, specifically.

“Especially this year is so important to get your flu shot because most of us haven’t been exposed to it for the last few years, so we haven’t built up any antibodies regularly being exposed to it,” Pace said.

Pace said this uptick in cases has resulted in lower supply of Tamiflu.

“We’re kind of rationing between families giving them a box or two until we get more in on Friday,” Pace said.

Pace encouraged everyone to get their flu shots now and said it is not too late, despite us being well into flu season. She said there are two A strains of the flu and two B strains.

Right now, Arkansas is in the A strain but that does not mean in February or March will not see an uptick in the B strain.