COVID, flu cases, hospitalizations increasing in La.
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - When the busy holiday season approaches, it becomes especially important to get your flu shot. Right now, Baton Rouge health officials are reporting increases in flu cases and hospitalizations.
In fact, doctors across the country are saying this flu season keeps getting worse. Health officials said last Friday that 7.5% of outpatient medical visits last week were due to flu-like illnesses. That’s as high as the peak of the 2017-18 flu season and higher than any season since.
That’s why the Louisiana Department of Health is pushing you to get your flu vaccine during National Influenza Immunization Week.
“We are in the holiday season, but I like to say we’re in the sneezing, wheezing, cold and flu season, and there are many ways for us to stay healthy,” said Dr. Gina LaGarde with the Louisiana Department of Health. “The first and most important way is to get vaccinated. We have vaccines for both flu and COVID-19.”
LaGarde said flu-like illness activity is currently high and hospitalizations are also increasing statewide. She said a yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting yourself against flu viruses and getting one this year will be more important than ever.
Dr. Jacob Wood with Baton Ruge General said they’re seeing an uptick in flu and COVID cases in the Capital City. He said more people have been coming in over the last couple of weeks with COVID, which they had not seen for a while.
The symptoms of COVID have changed a bit as patients report a sore throat, body aches and a low grade fever. Holiday gatherings also are approaching, which means many of us will be traveling around the country.
“I would expect a little spike given the fact that once again people are going to be moving around,” said Dr. Jacob Wood with Baton Rouge General. “It’s pretty typical for this time of year and so the little uptick in COVID here in the last few weeks is maybe the only part not totally expected.”
If you have a fever, sore throat and cough symptoms you need to be tested. He’s pushing the importance of getting vaccinated.
As we anxiously await special holiday gatherings, there are many things you can do to stop the spread of germs.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. And if you are sick, stay home and limit contact with others as much as possible. Wash your hands often.
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