Louisiana still seeing widespread flu activity

Flu spreading in LA

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Even though the flu is starting to wind down in other parts of the country, that's not the case here in Louisiana.

New Orleans Dr. Brobson Lutz is still seeing cases some severe others mild.

"There has been an uptick in the number or reported cases not a tremendous uptick but  somewhat of an uptick compared to other states around us the past few weeks," said Lutz.

While no vaccine is 100 percent effective, Lutz says this year's flu vaccine seems to be offering some protection against the virus but not total protection.

"One is more severe flu in people who avoid the vaccine," said Lutz.

The State Health Department says unlike other parts of the country the flu is still going really strong in Louisiana.

"We kind of got a late start to it and we're still going higher than not only the rest of the nation but were higher than the states around us, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas," said Frank Welch, M.D., with the Louisiana Department of Health.

That's why the state is asking you to stay home from work or school if you are sick and make sure you cover your mouth when you cough.

"About 1 visit in 20 to a health care provider in Louisiana is for influenza," said Welch.

But, Lutz believes good news might be just around the corner, "given the way the weather is going now, I suspect that this year's flu season will soon fade into the background," said Lutz.

Welch says it's not too late to get the flu vaccine.

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