Flu-related deaths rise in US state Flu-related deaths rise in US state

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Washington, Dec 15 (IANS) The number of flu-related deaths in Arkansas rose by 19 from last week, totalling 64 so far this season, according to a report released by the US state’s Health Department.

Out of the 64 who died from flu-related symptoms since October, 75 per cent were not vaccinated against the virus, Xinhua news agency quoted the report released on Wednesday as saying.

The fatalities include a child and 44 people aged 65 years old and above.

Since October 2, more than 15,900 positive flu tests were reported to the Department by healthcare providers across the state.

“It is presumed that there are many more people actually affected than the report shows,” the Department said in the report.

As many as 19 nursing homes in Arkansas have reported flu outbreaks this season, according to a report from local media outlet KFSM-TV.

The proportion of deaths reported to the US National Center for Health Statistics attributed to pneumonia and influenza this week is above the epidemic threshold, the report added.

In its latest update, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that multiple respiratory viruses are currently co-circulating with influenza in the US.

Seasonal flu activity is high across the country and so far this season, there have been at least 13 million cases, 120,000 hospitalisations and 7,300 deaths.

The CDC urged the public to get vaccinated for both influenza and Covid-19 ahead of large holiday gatherings and colder weather.

–IANS

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