HOUSTON, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Health officials in the U.S. state of Arkansas confirmed Monday that at least 15 people have died from influenza virus this season, local media reported.
Seven of the 15 victims were aged between 25 and 50, and the flu appears to be targeting younger age groups this season, state epidemiologist Dirk Haselow was quoted as saying at a news conference.
As of Monday, the total number of reported flu cases in Arkansas was tallied at about 5,300. Officials said the peak is yet to come. The state health department is urging residents to take vaccines.
Many U.S. states, including Arkansas and Texas, have been hit by widespread flu, mostly H1N1 virus, this season. Health officials confirmed in late December that at least 13 patients had died from H1N1 virus in Houston, Texas' largest city and the fourth largest city in the United States.