LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — According to the Arkansas Department of Health, just in the past week, eight people have died related to complications of the flu, including one person between the ages of 5-18, in Arkansas.
For week two of 2020, the ADH is reporting the state to have “widespread” flu activity with “high”, or 9 out of a possible 10 range of intensity.
There have been 32 total pediatric deaths across the nation this flu season, one of them from Arkansas in the last week.
“This year it’s really gotten revved up,” Dr. Chad Rodgers said.
Dr. Chad Rodgers is a pediatrician at the Little Rock Pediatric Clinic, where doctors are seeing a spike in kids coming in with the flu.
“We’re seeing it 2.5x more than we’re seeing it last year,” he said.
That’s about 10-12 kids testing positive each day.
“And we’re definitely seeing a mixture of flu A and flu B, which is the classic high fever, headache, body aches,” Dr. Rodgers said.
About half of those patients are under the age of five.
“They’re just more susceptible as they’re developing their immune system,” he said. “So, that’s why it’s really important for young kids to get their flu shot.”
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. The ADH said the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.