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Arkansas has logged 105 deaths from flu this season, according to a Health Department report released Wednesday.

That total includes nine deaths recorded last week, which did not include any children. Three pediatric deaths have been reported in the state this year.

Wednesday's report, which covered data gathered from the end of September through Saturday, marked the first week this season that flu deaths in the state surpassed 100, approaching last year's 120 total deaths.

A slight majority -- 61 -- of Arkansans who have died from the flu this season were age 65 or older.

According to the report, the number of flu outbreaks at nursing homes didn't increase last week, holding steady at 10. The Health Department declined to name the recently affected nursing homes, citing a federal health privacy law covering patient records.

Overall, positive flu tests reported to the department were cut almost in half compared with the week that ended March 14, falling to over 500 from over 960. Slightly more tests were positive for influenza A, the type most commonly reported this season, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's surveillance website.

The state public health agency reported "regional" flu activity to the CDC, a downgrade from "widespread" geographic prevalence the week before.

Providers are only required to tell the state agency about flu cases that involved hospitalization, death or an institution, so flu reporting only shows a portion of the overall disease burden, the report said.

The CDC estimates that about 23,000 people, including 149 children, have died in the U.S. from influenza since last fall.

Metro on 03/26/2020

Print Headline: 9 flu deaths reported in state; season's total climbs to 105

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