WWL-TV: Flu season continues to be mercifully quiet in Louisiana _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Rolling up his shirt sleeve, 4th grader Ronnie Smith, right, takes the flu shot in stride as Registered Nurse Gail Lamb, left, administers the vaccine. EBR schools launched their annual flu vaccination campaign at Claiborne Elementary School with students receiving shots or nasal spray. EBR shoots to immunize 5,000 to 8,000 or more kids each year to create what is known as herd immunity that limits the severity of a flu outbreak.

In fact, a higher rate of vaccinationh is one of several factors cited by Dr. Frank Welch, an influenza expert with the state Department of Health and Hospitals, in a report by WWL-TV. Weather weather is also a factor, he said. See the full story here.

The peak of the flu season in Louisiana typically peaks in late February or early March. Welch told WWL we will not be out of the woods until early April.

“It’s just a matter of time before it gets here,” Welch told The Advocate last month. The flu usually gets going in the large cities and spreads from there, he said.

“Given trains, planes and automobiles, it doesn’t take much time,” Welch said. “The best protection is the flu shot.” Flu shots start taking effect immediately but become fully effective in about seven days, after the body has a chance to produce a defense.

Other preventative measures include those that everyone learned in kindergarten: wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, stay away from sick people and, if you are sick, stay home.