CDC: Flu in LA Widespread

Baton Rouge, LA(KSLA)- According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu activity in Louisiana has been classified as widespread. The state's seasonal flu activity is most prevalent in Central Louisiana where flu symptoms accounted for more than 15 percent of doctor and emergency room visits.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is urging residents who haven't already gotten the seasonal flu vaccine to do so in order to protect themselves and their families. Each year, the flu kills more than 36,000 Americans.

"It's not too late to vaccinate," said Dr. Frank Welch, director of the state's immunization program. "The flu shot only takes a few days to be effective, and people are usually protected completely within 7-to-10 days of getting the flu vaccine. Vaccines are the best preventive measure we have to help fight the spread of this illness, and we encourage everyone to get their seasonal flu shot to help protect not only themselves, but their families and friends as well."

In a news release from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, the CDC recommends everyone older than 6 months get the flu vaccine. This year's flu vaccine will protect against both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus. Medical studies show getting the flu vaccine has proven to be very safe and effective in preventing people from catching the flu.