Baton Rouge, La. – According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the state has seen widespread and early flu activity.
“In more severe seasons, the flu causes approximately 700 deaths and nearly 8,000 hospitalizations each year in Louisiana. We are already on track to meet and possibly exceed these statistics for the 2017/18 flu season,” said Dr. Frank Welch, state immunization medical director.
The Louisiana Department of Health offers these reminders to help keep people from spreading the flu:
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you have cold symptoms or have fever greater than 100.3, stay away from others until you have not had a fever for 24 hours.
- Call your doctor immediately to see if an antiviral medication is appropriate for you.
- If you are sick, do not visit vulnerable loved ones who may be receiving care in a hospital, nursing home, cancer center or other setting.
- If you are sick, do not kiss babies, pregnant women, grandparents, and others who may be at a higher risk of getting sick.
- Cover your cough and sneeze.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
- It’s not too late to get a flu shot.
The Department of Health is offering free flu shots at parish health units across the state until February 12, 2018.
To schedule an appointment to receive a flu shot, find the Parish Health Unit nearest to you by visiting http://ldh.la.gov/FightTheFlu and then call to schedule your visit.
Information provided by the Louisiana Department of Health.