The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
- Children, the elderly, health care workers and others prone to getting the flu should get their flu vaccine every year.
- For extra safety, people you live with or spend a lot of time with should also get a flu vaccine. You are less likely to get the flu if the people around you don't have it.
- Flu vaccine helps your body fight the flu during the height of the flu season, which is generally December through March.
- Flu vaccine is available through your local health unit.
2020-2021 Flu Season
Walk-in flu shots will be available at open Local Health Units across Arkansas beginning on Sept. 21. Click here for a full list of Local Health Units around the state. There is no out-of-pocket expense for flu shots, but you are encouraged to bring insurance information if you have it.
School clinics are also planned. Click here for the full schedule
Key Facts about Seasonal Flu Vaccine
- Seasonal flu is a disease that causes mild to severe illness and is easily spread. Each year in the United States, 25-50 million infections are reported, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 23,600 die due to seasonal flu.
- The seasonal flu virus is spread through coughing or sneezing and by touching a hard surface with the virus on it and then touching your nose or mouth.
- Flu vaccine will not give you the flu! The shot is a vaccine that helps protect you against the seasonal flu virus.
- The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine each year. The vaccine takes one to two weeks to start working. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children.
- Children can catch the flu more often than adults but they usually aren’t as sick. Parents should keep their sick children at home so they do not spread the flu to others.
- For older adults and others who are at risk of complications, flu vaccine can reduce hospitalizations by as much as 70 percent and deaths by 85 percent.
- The best way to protect yourself, your family.
Weekly Influenza Report
During the flu season, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) produces a Weekly Influenza Report for clinicians. The report provides information on flu activity in the state. The report also compares influenza like illness (ILI) in Arkansas to activity in the US. ADH receives reports of only a fraction of flu cases. 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 likely that there are many more people actually affected than the report shows. Clinicians and policymakers may find the report helpful in terms of communicating to colleagues and patients about the current status of the flu season.
The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has created this influenza reporting website to track and record lab confirmed cases of flu and to replace the fax-based reporting system. Providers and facilities are encouraged to use this secure website to report individual flu case information. This information enables ADH to gain an accurate picture of the impact of the flu on Arkansans generally, and specifically by age groups, geographic location, and type of circulating strains. With this information, ADH can better and more effectively target our response measures and communications to those areas that are being the most seriously impacted.
Signing up is a one-time process. When reporting a flu case you need only login and enter the patient’s information. Please notice that you can enter more than one facility or provider and different users can report for the same facility if needed.
After you log in, please use ‘Enter Influenza Case Reports’ from the ‘Influenza Cases’ drop down menu at the top of the screen to get started. You can add a new report, save a record to work on it later and view and export your saved record. You can also apply filters to your data, and edit or change your user profile information. Every provider can only view the records they have entered along with aggregate state data.
Please notify us by phone at 501-537-8969 if you suspect an influenza outbreak in a community or institution, and of any suspected influenza patient with a history of travel to SE Asia or any avian flu endemic area.
If you have any question or difficulties using the website, please contact our information technology support here.
|Weekly Flu Report|
|Influenza (Flu) (CDC)|
|Rules and Regulations - Reportable Disease|
|Immunization Fact Sheet Influenza|
|Online Flu Public School Student Registration Process|