December flu cases in La. increase almost 800 percent from 2016

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - As the kids head back to school, keep in mind that flu cases are spiking in Louisiana.

Flu activity in Louisiana has been considered widespread for more than a month, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

At Baton Rouge General (BRG), staff members say the number of confirmed flu cases they saw in December is up nearly 800 percent over the same time the year before. If you are among those with the flu, one emergency physician says there are some red flag symptoms to watch for.

"The things that would concern me the most are if you have any difficulty breathing. Then you definitely need to be seen. Any time you get sick, I think it's worth consulting your primary physician to discuss the symptoms," said Dr. Johnny Jones, an emergency physician.

Dehydration and fainting are also red flags to watch for.

Over at Our Lady of the Lake, they're taking extra precautions to protect patients, asking anyone planning to visit a patient at the hospital to stay home if they show any flu like symptoms, especially fever.

Other details about this flu season include:

  • In December of 2016, only 9 percent of flu tests ordered at BRG came back positive. In December of 2017, that number increased to 27 percent.
  • Actual cases of the flu in December of 2017 increased by 792 percent from December of 2016

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