15 more flu deaths reported in state; toll now at 140

Fifteen more flu deaths were reported in Arkansas in the past week, bringing this season's death toll to 140, the state Department of Health said.

According to a report from the agency, flu-related emergency room visits and doctor’s office visits remain high.

State Epidemiologist Dirk Haselow added that reports of influenza B were more common than influenza A, which includes the H3N2 strain that has dominated the current flu season.

Such a high level of influenza B, which most commonly infects children, is unusual for a flu season and underscores the need for people to get flu shots, which protect against both influenza A and B, he said.

The number of total flu-linked deaths is already the highest in at least the past 17 years, the agency previously said. At least three children have died.

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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