203 people in Arkansas have died from the flu this season, according to the latest report issued Tuesday by the state Department of Health. That’s an increase of six since last week.
Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, medical director for immunizations, says while the flu is winding down for the season, the death toll is expected to keep rising.
"We’ll continue to likely get more deaths reported as the reporting process continues to go through the steps needed," she said.
Overall, reports from Arkansas’s 75 counties show fewer people are being impacted.
"We are so pleased that we are seeing a great decrease in flu activity around the state," Dillaha said. "We have moved from widespread to regional, which means we have fewer counties reporting the flu, and also in the intensity of the flu activity in the counties that are reporting, it’s pretty minimal."
For those who haven’t gotten a flu immunization, Dillaha says a decision should be made based on which county people live in. Unless it's an area with widespread flu activity, it likely will be of little benefit.
The 203 deaths this season is the most since the state starting tracking flu deaths in 2000. The department says five were children, while 198 were adults.