LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Flu activity is reaching a peak in the state of Louisiana and health officials are urging residents to get vaccinated.
Fifteen percent of doctor visits statewide in the last week have been flu-related according to weekly flu surveillance statistics.
According to the Office of Public Health, the flu activity is "medium to high" in southwest Louisiana. Health officials said the most common influenza activity in southwest Louisiana is Influenza B.
"The flu activity is very high right now," said Dr. B. J. Foch, Administrator and Medical Director for the Office of Public Health. "We're expecting the season to last through April or May."
The Calcasieu Parish Health Unit is hosting different flu vaccination clinics throughout flu season to remind residents to get vaccinated for the virus.
"I think we need to remember that of all the vaccine preventable diseases that we have in the United States, the flu causes the most deaths," said Dr. Foch.
The flu vaccine is available to anyone 6 months or older who has not yet had their flu shot this flu season.
The health unit also supplies the nasal spray flu vaccination as an alternative too the flu shot. The spray version is for individuals who are ages 2 to 49 who are healthy and not pregnant.
Health units throughout southwest Louisiana are offering flu shots through the end of flu season. For more information about flu activity in Louisiana, click on "Fight the Flu" to the right.