Flu Greatly Increasing in Arkansas - Not Too Late to Get Shots

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health, reports that flu activity is greatly increasing around the state, and there is still flu vaccine available this year. Large absentee numbers are being reported in several school districts. Cumulative flu reports received by the Division of Health (DOH) as of January 28, 2007 show Arkansas has received positive test results of influenza A in the following counties: Ashley (1), Clay (4), Howard (1), Pope (3), Pulaski (7) and Washington (1) and positive test results for influenza B from: Columbia (3), Garland (1), Pike (2), Pulaski (1) and Union (1). DOH has reports of flu-like illness in all Arkansas counties EXCEPT: Boone, Fulton, Lee, Logan, Marion, Montgomery, Newton, Phillips, Scott, Searcy, and Stone.

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The actual numbers of influenza cases could be somewhat higher as influenza is randomly reported to the DOH by healthcare professionals. Also, our surrounding states now report increased flu activity. Arkansans are encouraged to call their local health unit to see about flu shot availability.

The flu season in Arkansas usually runs from mid-December to March. The flu shot cost $15.00 for anyone not enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, or the Vaccines for Children Program (the shot is free for enrollees).

Dr. Sandra Snow, DOH Communicable Disease Branch, said, "We would encourage all Arkansans to get a flu shot this year. Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. The single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get vaccinated