Louisiana leading the country in flu cases, according to CDC

Louisiana leading the country in flu cases, according to CDC
Louisiana is leading the country in the number of flu cases it’s seeing this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control. (Source: Centers for Disease Control)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Louisiana is leading the country in the number of flu cases it’s seeing this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“Those numbers are about the same right now as a state as they were last year kind of right before peak season," Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh, the regional medical director for the Office of Public Health, said.

Cavanaugh said peak season is typically around Christmas or January going into February. This puts current numbers at least a month or more ahead of a typical flu season.

“It probably means it’s going to be a long season, and probably going to be a relatively severe season in terms of the number of cases," Cavanaugh said.

Cavanaugh said at this point, Southeast Louisiana is seeing the highest numbers.

“The highest activity levels are near the New Orleans area, but we report these numbers weekly and so, as the weeks have gone on since the beginning of flu season, we have seen it spreading closer and closer to our area in Lake Charles," Cavanaugh said.

Aside from getting a flu shot, Cavanaugh said the next best way to prevent the flu from spreading is to stay at home if you get sick.

“Flu is highly contagious, it can spread several feet around an individual whenever they cough or sneeze. We wanna make sure we’re doing a lot of hand washing, and we want to make sure those people who have flu like symptoms, unless they’re going to the doctor’s office to get tested or treated, they want to stay at home and not expose anyone else," Cavanaugh said.

She said it’s still too early to tell how severe the strain of flu is this season.

Three parish health units will be giving flu shots Friday, November 8th, free of charge.

Calcasieu Parish Health Unit

3236 Kirkman St., Lake Charles

7:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Beauregard Parish Health Unit

216 Evangeline St., DeRidder

8:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.

Jeff Davis Parish Health Unit

403 Baker St., Jennings

8:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.

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