Protection from the flu: low number of Louisianan’s getting vaccinated

Less than 30 percent of Louisianians have the flu shot
Updated: Nov. 12, 2018 at 12:41 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - This year’s flu season could be as devastating as last years.

The CDC projects high levels of flu activity. In Louisiana alone, 1,600 people died last year from the flu and there could be a link to a lack of people getting the flu vaccinations.

Ashley Eaves is a mother to three boys. They make an annual visit to their pediatrician’s office for a flu shot. Eaves makes sure all three boys get the shot as another line of defense to keep their household healthy.

"We have children in the home, constantly at school or bringing home something, touching everything, and spreading germs everywhere."

The Eaves are in the minority when it comes to getting a vaccine. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, less than 30 percent of people across the state were vaccinated. That’s down nearly eight percent from 2016.

Pediatrician Dr. Gretchen Petterway said her clinic, CHRISTUS Primary Care Partners, has already seen several flu cases.

“We started seeing patients as early as August this year,” said Dr. Petterway.

Last year’s flu season was one of the deadliest on record with more than 80,000 deaths in the United States.

The Eaves were hit with the bug last year despite getting the flu shot but say it helped lessen the symptoms.

"It started with my husband and then it led on to me and then to Palmer had it first and then Porter had it and it was just one at a time when over like that.

"It was just like the typical cold for us really. It wasn't drawn out like some people may have it."

Besides the shot, Dr. Petterway said prevention has played a large factor in limiting the virus.

“Hand washing, teaching your children not to rub their eyes, pick their noses, stick their fingers in their mouth is another way that we can keep everyone well,” she said.

"It's important for the parents but everyone should get their flu vaccine's because if we protect ourselves we're protecting our children."

CHRISTUS Pediatric Primary Care programs receive funding from Children's Miracle Network which helps extend their coverage to keep kids healthy across the region.

Sponsored by CHRISTUS Health Shreveport-Bossier, Your Children’s Miracle Network Hospital

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