Flu cases remain high in Louisiana, but numbers are stabilizing

Baton Rouge, La. - State health officials say while Louisiana continues to see a high number of people suffering with the flu, the number of cases being reported has stabilized. The Department of Health and Hospitals releases weekly reports, tracking the number of flu cases being reported at hospitals and clinics throughout the state. For the most recent week,  January 20th through January 26th, statistics show that 5-percent of all medical visits to clinics and doctor's offices were flu related. Health officials say while not every person who seeks medical care for flu-like symptoms actually have the flu, the numbers serve as a good indication of the number of flu activity in an area.

The Centers for Disease Control tracks flu cases nationwide, and ranks Louisiana at the top, with high numbers of cases being confirmed. In the metropolitan area, the only section that ranks high for the number of flu cases is one that includes Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes.  All other areas showing high number of flu cases are located in the central and northern parts of the state. State numbers show much of the metropolitan area, including Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes reported flu cases in the medium to high range. Numbers were lower on the Northshore, where St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes, which was placed in the category of medium to low cases of flu.

Nationwide, the CDC says influenza cases remain elevated, but the numbers are decreasing in some sections of the country. At least eight children have died from symptoms of the flu.