Louisiana's flu cases stand out in the U.S.

Louisiana's flu cases stand out in the U.S.

Louisiana is first in something that residents won't be proud of.

The latest CDC report from late November shows Louisiana with the most widespread cases of influenza in the Continental U.S. The state is singled out as more and more people with symptoms show up at doctor's offices.

"I got my flu shot. I make it a practice to get them. I get them every year," said musician Spike Perkins.

The latest map from the Centers for Disease Control singles out Louisiana and Alaska in dark brown as bulls eyes for the most widespread cases of influenza. It chronicles the flu story on the week before Thanksgiving.

"Personally, all the years I've watched a flu map, I've never seen flu start on the Gulf Coast. Usually it travels from north to south," said Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich.

Cvitanovich has been called into service at an urgent care center in Metairie to help deal with the increase. He says clinics are seeing 25 to 50 percent more patients than they normally do.

Doctors say the very young, very old and those with compromised immune systems are at highest risk for serious complications from the flu.

"A newborn baby can't get the flu shot. They're counting on the immunity that the mom had," the doctor said.

Cvitanovich predicts the next flu map released by the CDC will have a lot more states in brown. He encourages everyone to get immunized.

"You're going to see the flu extend all the way to March, April and May.

Washing your hands and staying away from people with the flu is the best way to protect yourself.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.