Cold and flu season is officially upon us. Arkansas is one of 19 states to report local influenza activity according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). North Arkansas Regional Medical Center’s (NARMC) Women’s Health and Family Center saw their first confirmed flu case on Thursday, December 20.
“We recommend taking all precautions in order to avoid spreading of the flu virus especially will school starting back next week,” APRN Stephanie Mallett said.
Influenza is commonly known as the flu and is a contagious respiratory illness. The best ways to prevent the spread of the flu virus is practicing proper hand hygiene and through the flu vaccination.
As of Wednesday, December 26, Arkansas reported its first pediatric flu-related death of the 2018 season.
The Arkansas Department of Health reported the death of a child under the age of 4 on December 21, according to THV11. The United States have reported seven total pediatric flu related deaths for the 2018-2019 season. Last year, the CDC received 185 reports of pediatric flu related deaths in the United States.
Below is a map of current flu levels across the nation courtesy of the CDC:
If your child or family member is showing flu like symptoms, it is important to treat the virus early.
Below is a guide on when to visit your healthcare provider, urgent care or the emergency room: