Very High Flu Activity Reported In Louisiana
If you haven't yet gotten your flu shot, it certainly isn't too late. Several pharmacies including CVS, and Walgreens offer free flu vaccines. Free or low cost vaccines are also available at several local healthcare providers.
According to the CDC, Louisiana is among the top seven states with high flu activity. In fact, Louisiana was singled out as having VERY High activity. State health officer, Dr. Joe Kanter says Louisiana often leads the nation’s flu cases…
“Last week in Louisiana we had 5,500 hospitalizations and about 400 deaths. Many of those could have been prevented through more people getting the flu vaccine.”
Kanter encourages everyone over six months of age to protect themselves with the flu vaccine, especially older adults and anyone who is immunocompromised. Kanter says they are safe and you should get the shot before the holidays. He says they are available and affordable typically with no co-pay…
“If anyone that does not have health insurance or is underinsured, they can get the flu vaccine at a parish health unit.”
Kanter says Flu seasons are unpredictable, often with more than one peak. Hospitals are very busy at this time of year and not where you want to be. Prevention is best but if you do get the flu, Kanter says for your health and the health of others, Stay home…
“You want to get lots of rest, drink lots of fluids. If you can’t keep fluids down, that is a warning sign that it is time to go in to the hospital.”
CDC Flu Vaccine Recommendations
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and LDH recommend that all individuals ages 6 months and older receive a flu shot by the end of October. The flu shot is particularly encouraged among high-risk populations such as pregnant women, children below the age of 5, adults ages 65 and up, and immunocompromised children and adults with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma.