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  • ​Louisiana - Flu Season 2017-18

    Louisiana has the worst flu rates in the country

    JIM HANZO
    DECEMBER 05, 2017 - 8:55 AM
    CATEGORIES: State Local News
    ...
    "It's terrible," says Dr. Frank Welch, Medical Director for Immunizations for Louisiana, who says it is widespread throughout the bayou state.

    "We are the absolute worst in the country, right now. We have very, very high flu rates and that's brand new from last week. Just about 1 out of every 20 emergency room visits or doctor room visits in the state of Louisiana is for flu like symptoms."

    Welch says the flu-like activity is high. He also says it seems to be coming earlier this year, where as normally it hits in February
    ...

    http://www.wwl.com/articles/louisian...-rates-country
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    Louisiana hit hard by flu

    By Holly Duchmann Staff Writer
    Posted Dec 16, 2017 at 10:02 PM
    Updated Dec 16, 2017 at 10:02 PM

    Louisiana has been hit especially hard this flu season and is experiencing some of the highest numbers of the virus that officials have seen for December.

    Dr. Frank Welch, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals medical director for state immunizations, said each year the only thing he can predict about the flu is that it’s going to be unpredictable.

    “That being said, I cannot remember in 25 years when Louisiana was first in the nation this early (in the season) in flu cases,” Welch said. “It is very surprising to see this early in December. Louisiana leading the nation with widespread flu activity.”
    ...
    Currently, the level of flu activity is over 5 percent, meaning an estimated one in 20 doctor visits have been for flu-like symptoms. In past Decembers, that rate has normally been at 2 percent, Welch said.
    ...
    http://www.houmatoday.com/news/20171...it-hard-by-flu
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

    Comment


    • #3
      Flu continues to hit Louisiana hard

      Tuesday, December 26th 2017, 8:14 pm CST
      Tuesday, December 26th 2017, 9:10 pm CST
      Written by: Kimberly Curth, ReporterCONNECT

      NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -
      ...
      New Orleans pharmacist Scott Beninato says just in the last two weeks there has been a significant increase in the demand for Tamiflu. He's had to order a bigger shipment to keep up with sick patients who need the drug.
      ...
      The Emergency Room Director at Children's Hospital in New Orleans says he's also seen a big uptick in flu cases.

      "I think the biggest problem this year is it turns out the flu shot this year is not as effective as it has been other years, so people are still prone to getting it. So it's still really, really important to make sure you're doing good hand washing to try to prevent getting the flu in the first place," said Children's Hospital ER Director Dr. Aaron Thompson, M.D.

      And, he says it will more than likely get worse before it gets better.
      ...

      http://www.fox8live.com/story/371434...louisiana-hard

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


      State department of health says one in seven doctor visits in Louisiana is for flu

      DECEMBER 27, 2017 - 9:22 PM
      CATEGORIES: State Local News
      (WWL.com)
      ...
      Health officials thought we'd be seeing fewer flu cases by now, but it's actually gotten worse in Louisiana. Dr. Frank Welch with the state department of health says we're seeing almost double the number of cases as our neighboring states.

      "Flu is rampant in Louisiana," said Welch. "One in every seven doctor/hospital visits is for influenza like illness."

      Louisiana is leading the nation in the number of flu cases this year. The drug used to treat the flu, Tamiflu, is flying off local pharmacy shelves.
      ...

      http://www.wwl.com/articles/state-de...-louisiana-flu
      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
      -Nelson Mandela

      Comment


      • #4
        Louisiana Department of Health Reports Widespread Flu Activity throughout the State

        Department of Health Offers Tips to Minimize the Spread of the flu


        January 03, 2018

        Department of Health Offers Tips to Minimize the Spread of the flu

        Louisiana is seeing widespread and early flu activity. According to the CDC, Louisiana is among the states with the highest confirmed illness through symptoms and laboratory surveillance.

        “In more severe seasons, the flu causes approximately 700 deaths and nearly 8,000 hospitalizations each year,” said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary, Louisiana Department of Health. “In Louisiana and we are already on track to meet and possibly exceed these statistics for the current flu season.”


        The Louisiana Department of Health offers these reminders to help keep people from spreading the flu:
        Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
        • If you have cold symptoms or have fever greater than 100.3, stay away from others until you have not had a fever for 24 hours.
        • Call your doctor immediately to see if an antiviral medication is appropriate for you.
        • If you are sick, do not visit vulnerable loved ones who may be receiving care in a hospital, nursing home, cancer center or other setting.
        • If you are sick, do not kiss babies, pregnant women, grandparents, and others who may be at a higher risk of getting sick.
        • Cover your cough and sneeze.
        • Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
        • Wash your hands frequently.
        • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
        • It’s not too late to get a flu shot.
        “Now is still a good time to get a flu shot. Flu vaccine is readily available for both children and adults throughout the state at health care providers, community pharmacies and parish health units in each region,” said Dr. Jimmy Guidry, state health officer, Louisiana Department of Health. “Although a flu shot is never 100 percent effective, a vaccination is the best way to prevent getting sick from the flu and getting serious flu complications.”

        Flu Shot Facts

        The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Department of Heath recommend a yearly flu shot for everyone over six months of age who does not have a complicating condition, such as a prior allergic reaction to the flu shot.

        A flu shot is especially crucial for people who may be at higher risk for serious complications. This includes babies and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and people 65 years and older.

        The flu shot is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, who can pass on antibodies to their babies that will help protect them.

        The flu shot starts to offer partial protection immediately, but takes about two weeks to offer full protection.

        Visit www.ldh.la.gov/fighttheflu for more information and resources.

        http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.c...om/detail/4479


        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela

        Comment


        • #5
          Kids who stay home Monday will be excused at elementary school in Central with lots of ill teachers

          Advocate Staff Report JAN 7, 2018 - 7:47 PM (0)

          A number of teachers at Bellingrath Hills Elementary School in Central have fallen ill, sparking an automated message to parents Sunday night letting them know that it they decide to keep their kids home Monday the school will count it as an excused absence.

          In an interview Sunday night, Superintendent Jason Fountain said the move is a precaution the Central school system opted for after consulting with the Louisiana Office of Public Health that allows concerned parents the option of avoiding school Monday.
          ...
          Fountain said teachers began calling in sick Thursday, when Central schools resumed after Christmas break, complaining of a variety of symptoms, not just flu - “It was all over the place,” he said - and teachers have continued calling in sick since....

          http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rou...47b7552df.html
          "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
          -Nelson Mandela

          Comment


          • #6
            Dr. Frank Welch, Immunization Medical Director for Louisiana's Department of Health and Human Services, tells 101.7 / 710 KEEL's Robert J Wright and Erin McCarty that cases of the flu sweeping the state are "the worst I've ever seem this early in the season."
            The doctor tells KEEL listeners that, from year to year, there are various strains of the flu, and that he, and other experts, "don't really know why Louisiana started out in early December," and that, normally, the flu season in our state doesn't peak until later in the winter.



            ...
            http://710keel.com/hhs-doctor-louisi...u-cases-video/
            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
            -Nelson Mandela

            Comment


            • #7
              Doctors: Flu strain hitting SWLA worse than 2009 swine flu

              Wednesday, January 10th 2018, 5:19 pm CST
              Wednesday, January 10th 2018, 5:44 pm CST
              By Kaitlin Rust, Reporter
              ...
              Medical experts in the Lake Area say this is the most active flu season they've seen since 2013. It's causing widespread effects throughout SWLA.

              For example, Lake Charles Urgent care has been seeing a surge of sick patients.

              “Depending on the day, we may see over 100 patients with at least a half, or maybe three-fourths of them having flu-like symptoms,” said Dr. Jay Marque.
              ...
              “Flu season is turning out to be really severe compared to the last couple years,” said Marque. “The last time we had anything close to this was 2013 and before that, it was 2009, when the Swine flu was really bad.”
              ...

              http://www.kplctv.com/story/37238973...hits-swla-hard
              "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
              -Nelson Mandela

              Comment


              • #8
                'Worst I've ever seen' - State Immunization Director fears 2018 flu

                Greg Hilburn / Gannett Louisiana , WWLTV 3:15 PM. CST January 11, 2018
                ...
                Louisiana is suffering its worst flu season in decades and perhaps ever with hundreds of deaths likely, the state's immunization director said.

                "I've been doing this job for 20 years and I've never seen the flu season here so aggressive so early," Dr. Frank Welch of the Louisiana Department of Health said in an interview with USA Today Network.

                Welch said he fears 600 to 700 people will likely die in Louisiana from flu-related deaths this year.

                "That's a hard thing to determine because the flu is very opportunistic," he said. "A patient might not die from the flu itself, but from other illnesses or conditions exacerbated by the flu."

                Welch said the number of Louisianans seeking treatment for flu-like symptoms is about 10 percent of the population, almost double the percentage during last year's peak season, which is February.

                "It's unprecedented," he said. "This is a freight train."

                And there's no hiding from it. Every region of the state is affected.

                "It's terrible everywhere," he said. "It's widespread."

                Emergency rooms in some cities have been in limited diversion at some time during the past three weeks, which means ambulances are asked to take patients to other facilities if possible.
                ...
                Welch said there are three strains of flu infecting Louisianans this season, including two type A strains (H3N2 and H1N1) and a B virus.

                He said the A strains, especially the H3N2, are generally more aggressive and more severe. "The H3N2 is the freight train I was telling you about," he said.
                ...

                http://www.wwltv.com/news/health/wor...-flu/507236525
                "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                -Nelson Mandela

                Comment


                • #9
                  Flu season slams Louisiana

                  Posted on 1/18/2018 1:04:00 AM.

                  Louisiana is suffering its worst flu season on record, with nearly 10 in 100 doctors visits in the last month being for flu related symptoms. Louisiana Department of Health Immunization Director Frank Welch says in his 20 years doing this, he's never seen so many cases...

                  “We are almost double the national average and the national average is terrible, so we are really hit hard in Louisiana.”

                  Welch says the worst outbreak he’s seen previously was 8 in 100 visits, and that only lasted a week.
                  ...
                  Welch says if you come down with flu like symptoms, you need to isolate yourself…
                  ...

                  http://www.louisianaradionetwork.com...8#.WmEsPq6nE2x
                  "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                  -Nelson Mandela

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    La. flu deaths exceeding norm; state offers free vaccines
                    Greg Hilburn, USA TODAY Network Published 1:27 p.m. CT Jan. 25, 2018 | Updated 5:19 p.m. CT Jan. 25, 2018


                    Louisiana is offering free flu shots on Jan. 31 as an effort to stem the state's worst epidemic in decades where the immunization director said 700 or more people here could die.

                    “In more severe seasons, the flu causes approximately 700 deaths and nearly 8,000 hospitalizations each year in Louisiana," Dr. Frank Welch said in a statement. "We are already on track to meet and possibly exceed these statistics for the 2017-18 flu season.”
                    ...
                    http://www.thenewsstar.com/story/new...es/1066348001/
                    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
                    The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hospitals strained, blood supply low as flu hits Louisiana

                      Louisiana has a critical shortage of blood as high flu numbers stop donors and put a strain on hospitals.


                      Meg Farris, WWLTV 6:21 PM. CST January 25, 2018

                      NEW ORLEANS --
                      ...
                      The empty shelves at the Blood Center tell the story. Less than a day's supply is available for the 32 hospitals from Baton Rouge all the way to Pascagoula, Mississippi.
                      ...
                      And while the blood shelves are empty, the hospitals are overflowing.

                      "Right now our hospital's full. Our beds are full. Our ICU's full ... They're at capacity and overflowing at University," said Dr. Mandy Flannery O'Leary, an Associate Professor of Pathology at LSU Health Sciences Center and Medical Director of the Blood Bank at UMC.

                      "The hospitals are very full. The E.R.s are very crowded. The past week alone there's been about 2,000 new flu cases in the state of Louisiana. It's hitting us hard," said Dr. Joseph Kanter, Director of Health for the City of New Orleans.

                      The city health director says Louisiana is leading the country right now in flu cases and Mardi Gras will only bring more people together. So he says now is the time to get the vaccine.
                      ...

                      http://www.wwltv.com/news/health/hos...iana/511598445
                      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                      -Nelson Mandela

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No Cost Flu vaccines offered across the state on January 31


                        January 25, 2018


                        The Louisiana Department of Health is offering flu vaccines at no cost at more than 55 Parish Health Units across the state on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, from 1 – 4:30 p.m. The vaccine is available to anyone who has not received a vaccine this flu season.

                        “Louisiana is experiencing a severe flu season and the flu strain we are seeing now is one that typically causes more severe illness, and results in higher hospitalization rates and deaths,” said Dr. Frank Welch, state immunization medical director. “In more severe seasons, the flu causes approximately 700 deaths and nearly 8,000 hospitalizations each year in Louisiana. We are already on track to meet and possibly exceed these statistics for the 2017/18 flu season.”

                        The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Department of Health recommend a yearly flu shot for everyone over six months of age who does not have a complicating condition, such as a prior allergic reaction to the flu shot.

                        Community flu clinics that are scheduled for next Wednesday are open to the public, and walk-ups are welcome. Wear short or loose-fitting sleeves and bring your private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare card if you have one.

                        To find the clinic nearest to you, visit http://ldh.la.gov/NoCostFluVaccines.

                        Flu Shot Facts

                        Flu activity in Louisiana continues to be high throughout the state. The Office of Public Health monitors patients with flu-like symptoms using a health care provider surveillance system. In a typical flu season, the system reports about five percent of people seeking care at doctor’s offices, clinic and hospitals have flu-like symptoms. Currently this year, the number is more than 10 percent.

                        A flu shot is especially crucial for people who may be at higher risk for serious complications. This includes babies and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and people 65 years and older.

                        The flu shot is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, who can pass on antibodies to their babies that will help protect them.

                        The flu shot starts to offer partial protection immediately but takes about two weeks to offer full protection.

                        Visit www.ldh.la.gov/fighttheflu for more information and resources.

                        http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.c...om/detail/4501


                        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                        -Nelson Mandela

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Possible flu-related death under investigation in Baton Rouge
                          January 30, 2018 9:43 AM in Top Story Source: WBRZ By: Trey Schmaltz Share:

                          BATON ROUGE – The coroner's office is investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose family and friends said died after being hospitalized with the flu.

                          “We are currently still investigating that death and have not determined the cause of death yet,” Dr. "Beau" Clark, the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner told WBRZ in an emailed statement Tuesday.
                          ...
                          http://www.wbrz.com/news/possible-fl...n-baton-rouge/
                          Twitter: @RonanKelly13
                          The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Flu season rages in Louisiana; officials estimate 1,000 deaths expected

                            BY CHARLES LUSSIER | CLUSSIER@THEADVOCATE.COM JAN 30, 2018 - 6:58 PM (0)

                            Flu season arrived early this year in Louisiana, and two months later, it is looking like it will stay for weeks, maybe months longer. It also could prove one of the deadlier seasons in recent memory.
                            ...
                            Dr. Raoult Ratard, the state epidemiologist, said past research suggests flu seasons kill between 600 and 1,000 people each year, and he expects the final tally this year will be closer to 1,000.
                            ...
                            Baton Rouge General Medical Center has seen a 450 percent increase in the number of positive flu tests this flu season compared to the same point in last year’s flu season, as well a 50 percent increase in patients hospitalized with both the flu and pneumonia, spokeswoman Rebekah Maricelli said.

                            Dr. Catherine O’Neal, an infectious disease specialist at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, offered even more dramatic numbers. In December 2016, the hospital had 98 people test positive for flu; last month, it had 1,300. And so far, 13 of the hospital's patients have died due to the flu, three of them in their 30s or late 20s, she said.
                            ...
                            Flu activity peaked around Christmas, O'Neal said, earlier than the normal peak time for the flu in February. And the rates have remained high through January, with big events this month having little evident effect.

                            “The snow days didn’t affect it, the back to work (after the holidays) didn’t affect this,” she said. “It’s just been a steady stream.”
                            ...

                            http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rou...48fcdf77d.html
                            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                            -Nelson Mandela

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Rare symptom leads to flu diagnosis

                              LOUISIANA 13 hrs ago
                              ...
                              Meg and Bryan Moore say when their little boy developed a cough and congestion, they were concerned. Especially considering the prevalence of flu across the nation. When he developed fever, the parents took him in to be tested for the flu. After two trips to the doctor and two negative flu tests, the Moores were sent home with Amoxicillin to treat a viral infection.

                              Anderson seemed to be getting better, but one morning when he woke up, he couldn't stand up. Meg tried to get her child to walk, but when she stood him up to put pressure on his legs, he cried out in pain.
                              ...
                              The Moores took their son to the emergency room where he tested positive for Flu Type B. But what really concerned the Moores is that doctors seemed puzzled by Anderson's symptom, the sole reason he was in the E.R.-excruciating pain in both calves.

                              That's when Bryan, a physical therapist, took out his phone and googled Anderson's symptom. His search returned Benign Acute Childhood Myositis. It's a rare transient muscle syndrome classically occurring in children after viral infections, like the flu.
                              ...

                              https://www.ktbs.com/news/rare-sympt...1fb38a0db.html
                              "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                              -Nelson Mandela

                              Comment

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