Flu is widespread in Louisiana
Posted on 12/4/2014 11:11:00 AM.
The Centers for Disease Control reports a widespread outbreak of the flu in Louisiana.  In fact, Louisiana is the only state in the Continental US with widespread flu cases.  

Dr. Frank Welch, with the state Department of Health and Hospitals, says it's not a designation the state wants, but we appear to be leading the pack.
"With more than four to five percent of all visits to doctors being for flu-like symptoms.  So we have started right out of the block with an aggressive flu season here in Louisiana."

He says the CDC has found that the predominant strain of flu, H3N2, has mutated slightly and is now not exactly matched with the vaccine.  Welch says this doesn't mean that the vaccine won't work.

"It is still H3N2, which is in the vaccine.  You still will get good to partial protection from the vaccine.  So we are still recommending that you get that vaccine."

Welch still recommends you get a flu shot as it's the best way to protect yourself against the flu, even though it isn't 100-percent perfect.  And Welch says it's important to remember that everybody in Louisiana who gets the flu, got it from someone else.

"By getting your flu shot, that's your best way of not being a transmitter of the flu to someone who would then need a doctor's visit, need a hospital visit, or even possibly die of the flu." 
flu, Department of Health and Hospitals, Frank Welch, flu shot, CDC

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