With all the social gatherings planned this time of year, it's a good time to be mindful that it's flu season in Louisiana.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital's Immunization Medical Director, Dr. Frank Welch, says flu cases are popping up all over the state as we move towards the end of the holiday season.
"Over the past few weeks, we've seen a steady increase in, not only the number of visits people have been making to their doctor or hospital complaining of flu-like symptoms, but also the number of those tested who've come back positive for the flu."
Dr. Welch says it's hard to predict what kind of flu season the state will have, but so far this year there are more reported cases than there were last year.
"This is a fairly strong flu season, I would say. And, we're in it pretty deeply now."
Welch says it's never too late to get the flu shot, even if you've already gotten the flu this season.
He says you can also protect yourself from the flu by following the simple "kindergarten" standard of washing your hands and staying away from sick people.
"And, if you feel like you have the flu, please stay home and don't go to work," says Welch. "Don't go to the grocery store and don't interact with people. That really can protect other people from getting the flu."
And, he says, if you've already got the flu...please cover your cough.