Louisiana ranked with highest flu rate in nation

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Louisiana is ranked the number one state in the nation for high flu activity, and experts are keen to bring those numbers down.

According to Walgreens, they decided to launch their 2022-2023 Walgreens Flu Index to help communities track flu activity in their area.

Their Walgreens data also shows that overall influenza activity is more than 10 times higher nationally compared to the 2021-2022 flu season and has more than doubled in the past two weeks.

“They’re also seeing a lot of flu in children this year as well, which is a bit different,” said Ochsner Baton Rouge vice president of medical affairs Ralph Dauterive, MD.

Dr. Dauterive says it’s different due to the fact that they normally see an increase and harsher symptoms in older people.

“We find that we are seeing high levels of influenza in schools,” says Community Preparedness Office for LDH, Dr. Glennis Gray.

For example, the Brighton School of Baton Rouge was closed on Monday and Tuesday. They discovered that a quarter of their students and a fifth of their teachers had contracted the flu virus.

According to the LDH website, they found data showing Louisiana was high for the flu virus this season.

Dr. Gray says these flu season numbers are higher due to the fact that the last flu season was the mildest on record because everyone had COVID.

Oschner Health and LDH are pushing for people to wash their hands more frequently and get vaccinated.

Oschner provides flu shots throughout the Capital Region, if you are looking for a location closest to you click here.

LDH also created Flu Shot drive-ins, here is a list of their locations.

Toya J. Bell