LITTLE ROCK - This year's flu season is causing severe illness and death in adults between the ages of 25 and 50.
Seven out of the 15 deaths this season in Arkansas have occurred in adults between the ages of 25 and 50, and multiple hospitalizations in this group have been reported. It is highly recommended that all individuals in this age group receive a seasonal flu vaccine and promptly visit a doctor should they experience severe flu-like symptoms.
The most frequently seen flu strain this year is H1N1, which disproportionately affects young to middle-aged adults and pregnant women. The Arkansas Department of Health says there are multiple factors that may explain why younger, healthier people are affected this year. One observation is that only 30% of individuals in this age group have been vaccinated against seasonal flu this year. That leaves over 650,000 unvaccinated Arkansans in this age group unprotected from the flu. Individuals who are pregnant or in this age category may experience a rapid onset of symptoms that quickly progress to severe illness.
Flu symptoms include: fever over 100 degrees, headache, extreme fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches, dry cough, and runny or stuffy nose. If you have flu symptoms and experience shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sudden dizziness, or pain or pressure in the chest,
For more information about flu, go to http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/flu.htm.