Arkansas ranks 3rd for most active flu cases

If you haven’t gotten your flu shot you may want to, Arkansas now ranks number three in the nation for the most active flu cases.

The newest Walgreens’ flu index keeps track of the number of prescriptions for Tamiflu, which helped identify the Little Rock and Pine Bluff area.

The Arkansas Department of Health told KATV they’re not surprised to see this high of a ranking for the state.

“We don’t have the best flu vaccination rates in this part of the U.S.,” said Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, ADH’s immunization medical director.

Dillaha credits the high number of flu cases to a shift in viruses from H1N1 to H3N2.

“The H3N2, which is now circulating, has a slight difference so although the vaccine works really well against it, it’s not perfect so we’re seeing people with breakthrough cases,” she added.

So far, 63 Arkansans have died due to the flu, and while that number is much lower than what the health department was seeing last year, health experts hope more people will get vaccinated.

“People who get the flu vaccine, they can still get the flu and people need to understand that. We wish the vaccine was more effective then it is, but we know that the vaccine even when people get the flu, it can give their immune system enough of a head start.”