What To Bring For Appointment:
- UA ID Card/Number
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- Wear your Mask
Getting a flu shot is more important than ever. Although we dont know how prevalent the flu will be this year, getting a flu shot, protects yourself and your fellow Razorbacks.
The flu vaccine is also available off-campus at local pharmacies, clinics and the Washington County Health Unit.
What type of flu vaccine does PWHC Offer?
Pat Walker Health Center offers the quadrivalent influenza vaccine injection, which is designed to protect against four different flu viruses, including two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. The health center does not offer the flu vaccine in nasal mist form.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months and older.
It especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.
The vaccine is strongly recommended for those who are elderly, pregnant, or have a chronic illness.
What are the benefits?
Getting the flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent the flu. Not only will thevaccine help protect you, but it will also help protect those around you who can have severe complications if they catch the flu from you.
However, the protection provided by a flu vaccine varies from season to season.
Vaccinating Patients In North Central Arkansas & South Central Missouri
Think you wont need an influenza shot this season? Think again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everybody gets an annual flu vaccine for those that are six months and older. The more effective way to fight off the flu is to get a flu vaccination. Getting vaccinated can reduce visits to the doctor, missed work and school, flu illnesses, and possibly prevent hospitalizations. The CDC estimates that tens of thousands of Americans die annually due to the devastating effects of the flu. There are no excuses to not get vaccinated you can help prevent the flu today!
Here are several symptoms commonly associated with the flu:
- Fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Aching muscles, primarily in your legs, arms, and back
- Weakness and fatigue
Adh Reports 46 New Flu Cases No New Deaths In Weekly Flu Report
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. The Arkansas Department of Health released its weekly flu report to the public Wednesday.
According to the ADH online database from health care providers, there have been 46 new cases reported since last week.
Since September 27, 2021, 163 positive influenza tests were reported to the database.
Health officials said the reported cases reflect only a portion of the actual numbers of flu cases in the state.
Arkansas has reported no flu deaths this season, which is unchanged from last week. Last season, Arkansas reported 24 total flu-related deaths. No nursing homes have reported influenza outbreaks this season.
Officials reported that the average school absenteeism rate last week was 8.0 percent among public schools.
View the full flu report here, or visit the ADH website for past weekly reports.
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Flu Season Death Count Rises To 46 In Arkansas
Ten more people died from flu-related illnesses in Arkansas during the week that ended Saturday, according to the Arkansas Department of Healths weekly influenza report.
The recent deaths raise the current flu season total to 46.
The Arkansas Department of Health reported that last weeks absentee rates in Columbia County Schools was 8.4 percent, which is more than twice the normal rate. Absentee rates for neighboring counties were Lafayette, 6.81 percent Nevada, 8.05 percent Ouachita, 9.36 percent and Union, 8.65 percent. The highest school absentee rate in South Arkansas was Grant County, at 13.63 percent.
Dallas County, which includes Fordyce, had the states highest absentee rate at 27.37 percent the previous week, but the rate fell to 7.68 percent last week.
The average school absenteeism rate last week was 8.4 percent among public schools. As of February 11, ADH is aware of 36 schools/districts that closed briefly due to the flu this season.
ADH receives reports of only a fraction of flu cases since it only requires reports of hospitalizations, deaths, and outbreaks. Therefore, it is important to understand that the information in the weekly update is representative of the timing and location of activity, but it does not reflect the overall burden of disease. It is presumed that there are many more people actually affected than the report shows.
Since September 29, 2019, 6 facilities including 4 nursing homes have reported influenza outbreaks.
Flu And Pneumonia Death Trends By Arkansas
On the national scale, influenza and pneumonia deaths gradually decreased between 1999 and 2017. The severity of the flu varies depending on the person, the flu season, and the flu virus active that year. The most at-risk populations include seniors and young children as their immune systems are more likely to be compromised. Serious cases of the flu can result in hospitalizations. Even more serious cases result in death.
The term “influenza-like illness” considers the flu along with other illnesses, such as pneumonia, that cause similar symptoms, notably fever, dry cough, nausea, body aches, and nausea. The chart above shows how the age-adjusted death rate from ILIs in Arkansas compares over time to the rest of the nation.
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Northwest Arkansas Health Care Providers Prepare For Flu Season
Health care providers in Northwest Arkansas are preparing for flu season, which could be complicated by the covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the number of covid-19 patients hospitalized in Northwest Arkansas fell below 50 for the first time in nearly four months.
Even though last year’s flu season was mild, this year’s could be more serious as covid-19 precautions wane, and travel and gatherings increase, according to local and state doctors.
Additional cases of the flu could put more stress on the health care system even if there are fewer cases of covid-19 than last winter, said Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, medical director of the Arkansas Department of Health.
“We strongly encourage people to get the flu shot,” she said. “It takes a couple of weeks for the immune system to develop antibodies, so go ahead and get vaccinated.”
The number of flu tests administered last year was relatively high, but positivity rates were very low, said Dr. Mark Thomas, Washington Regional vice president and medical director of population health. During most years, 26% to 30% of flu tests are positive, but last year only 1% were positive, he said.
“Flu was really nonexistent,” he said.
Dillaha attributed the mild flu season to the precautions people were taking for covid-19. Fewer kids were in school, more adults were working remotely and people were wearing masks and social distancing, she said.
“It worked really well to prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory viruses,” she said.
Flu Is Making A Comeback In Us After Taking A Year Off
The U.S. flu season has arrived on schedule after taking a year off, with flu hospitalizations rising and two child deaths reported.
Last year’s flu season was the lowest on record, likely because COVID-19 measures school closures, distancing, masks and canceled travel prevented the spread of influenza, or because the coronavirus somehow pushed aside other viruses.
This is setting itself up to be more of a normal flu season, said Lynnette Brammer, who tracks flu-like illnesses for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The childhood deaths, Brammer said, are unfortunately what we would expect when flu activity picks up. It’s a sad reminder of how severe flu can be.
During last year’s unusually light flu season, one child died. In contrast, 199 children died from flu two years ago, and 144 the year before that.
In the newest data, the most intense flu activity was in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., and the number of states with high flu activity rose from three to seven. In CDC figures released Monday, states with high flu activity are New Mexico, Kansas, Indiana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Georgia and North Dakota.
The type of virus circulating this year tends to cause the largest amount of severe disease, especially in the elderly and the very young, Brammer said.
Well have to see what the impact of these little changes” will be, Brammer said. Flu vaccine is your best way to protect yourself against flu.
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Free Shots Will Be Available At Each County Health Unit In Arkansas
In preparation for the flu season, the Arkansas Department of Health will provide flu shots across the state beginning today. Each county health unit in Arkansas will host a community flu vaccine clinic, a day-long event when the health unit and community volunteers come together to provide flu vaccines to as many people as possible, according to a press release.
The shot is available for free, but people should bring their insurance cards with them to the clinic. If anyone does not have insurance, or their insurance does not cover the flu vaccine, the vaccine will still be available at no charge.
The flu should not be taken lightly, said Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, Chief Medical Officer. We are encouraging everyone to get a flu vaccine to protect themselves and their families because it is hard to predict in advance how severe the flu season is going to be. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important to keep yourself healthy and out of the hospital.
Annual flu vaccination is recommended for most adults and children six months and older. The flu virus changes from year to year, and this years vaccine protects against flu viruses expected to cause the most illness this season.
It is also recommended that friends, family members and individuals who provide care to people in these groups also get a vaccine not only to protect themselves, but also to decrease the possibility that they might expose the people they love and care for to the flu.
Adh Reports First Death Of Flu Season 52 New Cases In Weekly Flu Report
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. The Arkansas Department of Health confirmed the states first flu death of the season in the weekly flu report released Tuesday.
There were 52 new influenza cases reported by the ADH within the last seven days in the state.
Officials said that 994 positive tests were reported to the ADH online database by health care providers since Sept. 27.
Data showed that the school absenteeism rate last week was 7.6 percent among public schools, which is a slight increase from last weeks 6.9 percent.
According to the ADH, the flu season for 2020-21 produced 24 influenza-related deaths in total.
Visit the ADH website to view the full flu report or to see past flu reports.
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Arkansas To Provide Free Flu Vaccines In Hopes Of Easing Burden On Hospitals
The Arkansas Department Health will begin offering free flu vaccinations next week. Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, the state’s chief medical officer, says with fewer people taking COVID-19 precautions, which also protect against the flu, this year’s flu season is expected to be more severe than the last.
She said the goal is to get as many people as possible, including children, vaccinated by November, when the flu virus is expected to become more prevalent.
“Children under the age of 9, so 8 years of age and younger, if they have not had two doses of a flu vaccine in the past, they need two doses of the flu vaccine this year, and they should be four weeks apart,” Dillaha said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine every year. Flu vaccines are adjusted each season to match the specific strains of the virus. Dillaha said being vaccinated against the flu reduces the possibility of being hospitalized during a time when the health care system is overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
“Every year, influenza puts a lot of people in the hospital. The more we can minimize that, the more stress we can take off of our hospital system and avoid the combination of high flu and high COVID-19 hospitalizations in our state. I do not like to think about what the combination of both of them would be,” she said.
Flu Seasons Not Over Yet
If youve been listening to recent news stories, you know that the 2015-16 flu season isnt going anywhere. Not just yet. States across the country are still reporting increased hospitalizations.
Dr. Joseph Gross, an infectious disease specialist, says Ive seen so much flu in the past three weeks or so, I think this year youll see a spike as high as last year, only hitting later, in . Its not too late for people to get a flu vaccine.
But, why is the flu making a surge now, when the season is nearly over? There are theories as to why flu hits primarily in the winter, says Gross. One is that the influenza likes dry environments, and winter is a cold, dry season. Additionally, winters dryness is enhanced by heating systems. This can cause the influenza viruses to thrive. This, on top of the fact that cooler months tend to bring people inside within closer proximity to one another, gives the virus ample opportunity to spread more easily.
With widespread activity being reported in 39 states and regional activity in another 10, its still not too late to protect yourself and your family against the flu virus.
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Adh: Flu Still Reportedly Low In Arkansas
During flu season, the Arkansas Department of Health produces a Weekly Influenza Report for clinicians.
The report provides information on flu activity in the state. The report also compares influenzalike-illness in Arkansas to activity in the U.S. ADH receives reports of only a fraction of flu cases since it only requires reports of hospitalizations, deaths, and outbreaks. Therefore, it is important to understand that the information in the weekly update is representative of the timing and location of activity, but it does not reflect the overall burden of disease.
It is presumed that there are many more people actually affected than the report shows. Clinicians and policy makers may find the report helpful in terms of communicating to colleagues and patients about the current status of the flu season.
Report Key Points:
For Week 48, Arkansas reported “Low” or 5 out of 13 for Influenza-Like-Illness activity level indicator determined by data reported to ILINet.
Since September 27, 2021, 487 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers. Please note that reported cases reflect only a portion of the actual numbers of flu cases in the state.
Among flu antigen tests this season that can distinguish between influenza A and B virus types in Arkansas, 51 percent were influenza A, and 49 percent were influenza B. Nationally, the majority of viruses detected are A. About 80% are among children and young adults aged 5-24 years.
Seasonal Flu Toll Rises To 15
Another person has died from flu in Arkansas, bringing this season’s death toll to 15, according to a weekly report from the state Department of Health.
Just one of 404 people who died in Arkansas during the week that ended Saturday had a positive flu test. By comparison, 67 people died of pneumonia, likely due in part to the covid-19 pandemic.
Six people were hospitalized with a positive flu test last week, health officials said in the report. Cumulatively, 170 people have been admitted to Arkansas hospitals with flu since late September.
Overall, the state’s flu activity remains “minimal,” according to the report. The level of “influenza-like illness” is at the lowest of 13 levels, where it has remained throughout much of the season.
No nursing homes have reported flu outbreaks. That’s different from the 2019-20 flu season, when 10 facilities reported outbreaks to the state.
Health providers reported 1,733 positive flu tests — likely just a fraction of the total, as most cases aren’t treated in hospitals or otherwise tracked, the report said.
Of the people who died from flu this season in Arkansas, 12 were 65 or older. One person was between 45 and 64, and two were 25-44, Health Department data show.
Public health experts say elderly people, children, people with compromised immune systems and people who are pregnant are most at risk if they catch the flu, although anyone can get very sick.
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Weekly Us Map: Influenza Summary Update
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Health Experts Warn Of Potential Twin
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Health experts are warning of a potential twin-demic this flu season as many start to relax on safety guidelines more than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health officials believe that last years flu numbers were likely lower because most people were following COVID-19 precautions, however, now that mask mandates have become optional, they are cautious about this years numbers.
One doctor says without mask mandates in every school, there might be a significant spread of the flu compared to last year, which could be bad news for hospitals.
Lots of people go to the hospital with COVID and then a bunch more people have to go to the hospital with the flu and that will overly burden the hospital and they wont be able to deal with it very well, Arkansas Department of Health physician Dr. Joel Tumlison said.
Dr. Tumlison says he feels more people are masking up now than even a month ago, with COVID-19 cases on the rise, but to avoid a rough flu season, itll take more people doing their part.
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