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Flu season note as “second wave” or cases spike in Louisiana

A recent jump in flu cases reported across Louisiana has been linked to the emergence of a second virulent flu strain, health officials reported. led to about 16,000 hospitalizations and 6,000 deaths in Louisiana alone, according to data provided by the Louisiana Department of Health. The 2017-2018 flu season is considered the worst in nearly a decade with nearly 80,000 deaths in the US "These two strains (H1N1 and H3N2) are very serious and make you very sick and sick for longer," Dr. Frank Welch, the medical director of the state immunization program The majority of emergency rooms in New Orleans began reporting on sudden increase in the number of people with flu-like symptoms and confirmed flu cases starting in early February. Dr. Which is why it is possible that so many people got sick from these strains last year, they were able to develop some immunity, lowering the number of flu cases this year. The flu vaccine this year is also better matched to these two strains providing about 50 percent immunity. "Although better than last year, the reality is that this flu season is actually a little worse than most years," Dr. Welch said The department of health has a flu surveillance network of community clinics, hospitals, and doctor's offices around the state that report the number of patients coming in with either fluid symptoms or testing positive for the flu. ] The percentage of people going to visit the doctor during a bad flu season stays in…

A recent jump in flu cases reported across Louisiana has been linked to the emergence of a second virulent flu strain, health officials reported.

led to about 16,000 hospitalizations and 6,000 deaths in Louisiana alone, according to data provided by the Louisiana Department of Health. The 2017-2018 flu season is considered the worst in nearly a decade with nearly 80,000 deaths in the US

“These two strains (H1N1 and H3N2) are very serious and make you very sick and sick for longer,” Dr. Frank Welch, the medical director of the state immunization program

The majority of emergency rooms in New Orleans began reporting on sudden increase in the number of people with flu-like symptoms and confirmed flu cases starting in early February.

Dr. Which is why it is possible that so many people got sick from these strains last year, they were able to develop some immunity, lowering the number of flu cases this year.

The flu vaccine this year is also better matched to these two strains providing about 50 percent immunity.

“Although better than last year, the reality is that this flu season is actually a little worse than most years,” Dr. Welch said

The department of health has a flu surveillance network of community clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s offices around the state that report the number of patients coming in with either fluid symptoms or testing positive for the flu. ] The percentage of people going to visit the doctor during a bad flu season stays in the 7 to 8 percent range, he explained.

“It jumped up to 1

1 percent last week, although this week we are down to 9 percent , “He said.

There have been 7,000 hospitalizations in Louisiana so far this season and 700 deaths, according to the state health department. During a typical year the death rate averages between 500 and 600 by the end of flu season.

Health officials recommend that individuals who have not been vaccinated and especially those who work or live with children, someone who is immunocompromised, or the elderly be vaccinated. The flu shot will provide some degree of protection against both the prevalent flow of the flu.

For more information and resources visit: www.ldh.la.gov/fighttheflu.

t at 504-658-2540 for more information on how and where to get vaccinated. HealthMap Vaccine Finder, web-based app, also allows users to search for vaccine locations in their area by vaccine type

Maria Clark writes about immigration, health care, the moon and other topics for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. Reach here at [email protected] Or follow her on Twitter at @ MariaPClark1.

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