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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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