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​Louisiana - Flu Season 2017-18

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  • #16
    Health Department to Continue No Cost Flu Shots While Supplies Last

    February 14, 2018

    Due to widespread flu activity remaining throughout Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Health will continue to offer flu vaccines at no cost at Parish Health Units across the state while supplies last. The vaccine is available to anyone who has not yet received a vaccine this flu season.

    According to influenza surveillance reports compiled by the Department for the week of January 28 to February 3, influenza activity remains very high in the state. Reported cases of people with influenza-like illnesses are more than twice the activity seen in a typical flu season.

    “Louisiana is continuing to see widespread flu activity in this, particularly severe flu season. The strain of the flu 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. “Hospitals continue to report large numbers of sick patients and providers are reporting high numbers of patient visits due to flu and flu-like symptoms.”

    Welch added that he expects to see high rates of flu continue for the next several weeks.

    From January 29 to February 10, almost 4,000 flu vaccines have been administered to Louisianans at no cost to the public as part of the Department’s efforts to make vaccines available to as many people as possible. Several thousand doses remain from the State's high-risk campaign.

    "We want to make sure that we utilize every dose we have if there is someone who wants it," said Welch.

    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.

    Wear short or loose-fitting sleeves and bring your private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare card if you have one.

    To schedule an appointment to receive a vaccination, find the Parish Health Unit nearest to you by visiting and then call to schedule your visit.

    "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


    • #17
      Flu linked to six deaths in Rapides Parish
      Miranda Klein, Published 11:46 a.m. CT Feb. 20, 2018 | Updated 11:47 a.m. CT Feb. 20, 2018

      The flu has claimed the lives of at least six people in Rapides Parish and sent twice as many people to local emergency rooms as last year.

      The deaths recorded since Oct. 1 span all ages, according to coroner Jonathan Hunter, also a family practice doctor, who urged people not to let concerns about "adverse outcomes" keep them from getting the flu vaccine.
      Twitter: @RonanKelly13
      The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.