And in the regional flu race...

(November 11, 2003) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Arkansas is part of a four-state region containing about three-quarters of all confirmed flu cases nationwide. The other states are Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Federal health officials say 148 of 193 cases confirmed since September 28th are in that region. Texas has the most, with the number of influenza cases per week at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston peaking at 129 in mid-October. Two weeks ago it dropped to 66 cases, although that is still an extraordinarily high number, experts say. So far in Arkansas, there have been three positive cultures for influenza type A in Pulaski County, and positive antigen tests or flu-like symptoms have been reported in Arkansas, Clark, Desha, Faulkner, Greene, Lonoke, Miller, Perry, Pulaski, Saline and Washington counties. Arkansas is among 19 states showing "sporadic" cases of the flu, according to federal officials. Texas is two steps higher, with "regional" infection status.