ARKANSAS/OKLAHOMA (KFSM) -- Flu season is in full swing, but the number of reported cases in Arkansas and Oklahoma are considerably lower than last year. According to the Arkansas Department of Health's weekly report, it states that as of February 20th in Arkansas there have been 370 hospitalizations for flu-like symptoms.
As we enter the last half of flu season, area doctors said people still need to use caution because they're still seeing strep throat and flu patients regularly. Students at schools in Sebastian and Crawford counties are seeing their absentee rate leveling off around 6 percent. The highest rate was in Scott County which saw 9 percent.
According to the Center of Disease Control, one reason less folks are getting sick is because the flu vaccine this year has been over 60 percent effective.
Even with these numbers, doctors in Fort Smith said overall its been a light year for all of these illnesses.
"We were on point with our flu vaccine strains so prevention has been good and that coupled with the unseasonably warm weather we've had a light year," said Dr. Bryan Clardy, Sebastian County Health Officer.
Dr. Clardy said flu season should be over with by the end of March, but until then people should wash their hands more often and remember to cover their mouths when coughing to avoid spreading any germs.
Segment Sponsored By: Mercy Health System