The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is currently receiving large numbers of reports of flu infections and hospitalizations from all regions of the state and is aware of seven deaths from the flu.
ADH encourages everyone six months of age or older to get a flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is the single best protection against the flu and is very effective in preventing flu infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. The vaccine provides 60-80 percent protection against the flu and provides roughly 70-90 percent protection against flu-related hospitalization.
North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison is restricting visitors under the age of 16 years to come to the hospital due to this flu outbreak.
Those most at risk for severe flu-related complications include:
• pregnant women
• children under the age of 5
• people 65 years or older
• people with chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD, heart disease, or weakened
Those who are at high risk of flu-related complications are encouraged to visit their doctor if
they develop flu-like symptoms including cough, high fever, headache, and/or muscle aches.
Children flu symptoms may also include vomiting or diarrhea.
The flu vaccine takes 10 days to two weeks to become effective and it is not too late to
get vaccinated. Flu vaccines are available at local health units, private doctor’s offices,
pharmacies, and major retailers statewide.