Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

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Statewide Initiatives

211 - Get Connected. Get Answers.

Facts About Seasonal Influenza (Flu)

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The height of flu season occurs in winter, and the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Seasonal flu vaccines are available through private providers now, and will continue through December, January and beyond.

Everyone is encouraged to get a seasonal flu shot, and they are readily available this year. The following groups are at a higher risk of serious complications from the seasonal flu and should make it a priority to receive the vaccination:

  • Children between the ages of six months and 18 years;
  •  All people over the age of 65;
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding; and
  • All people who live with or care for people at high risk for influenza-related complications, including children younger than six months.

People who have the flu often experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills (people with flu do not always have fever!)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

2012-2013 Target Populations

For the 2012-2013 influenza season, the two target populations health officials are targeting for preventive vaccination are health care workers and pregnant women.