Flu season already hitting Louisiana hard

Flu season already hitting Louisiana hard
(Source: Maranda Whittington / KPLC)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Flu season is upon us.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana are already seeing high levels of flu activity.

"Our ER director here at the hospital mentioned to me today that we've seen definitely in the last two weeks an increase in cases," said Christus St. Patrick's Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Timothy Haman. "Two to three to four patients a day, and we saw six yesterday."

Haman doesn't understand why our state is seeing such an increase in the flu this early, but he's definitely pushing for one thing---the flu shot.

"The vaccine is more important than ever," he said.

Even though the flu shot isn't as effective this year,  Haman still advises everyone in our area to get it.

"Obviously it's not 100 percent, and you know this year the effectiveness is not where we want it to be but it's still better than zero," said Haman.

Haman says if you have the flu or are already sick you shouldn't get the flu shot. He also says you can't get the flu from getting the flu shot, because they use an inactivated virus, and it's best to get a flu shot every year.

"The shot changes and the immunity wanes with time so you know people that get a flu shot in September by April May that shot is not as effective anymore," he said.

But with the CDC also showing reports of widespread flu activity in our state, Haman says he see's things getting worse as the flu season continues.

"We typically don't see our peak until January, February," said Haman. "That's when we typically see (it), so if we are already at this level in December, I can only imagine where we are going to be."

Along with getting the shot, Haman also advises people to was their hands, and try to avoid touching your face.

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