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Flu season off to fast start in Livingston Parish

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DENHAM SPRINGS - It may only be November, but flu season is in full effect in Livingston Parish. Lake After Hours Urgent Care on Highway 16 is seeing a spike already.

"Today alone we've had 44 people check-in so far," nurse practicioner, Dane Erwin said. "33 of those were flu positive."

It's been a revolving door since September for Erwin and other staff members. On a usual day, they'll see anywhere from 35 to 55 patients. Since their uptick in flu and strep cases, that number has jumped anywhere between 75 and 100.

"It kind of caught us unexpected this year," Erwin said. "The season started sooner. We're used to seeing the high volumes this time of year, just not this early."

According to the CDC, Louisiana is the only state reporting "high" influenza-like illnesses. The Lousiana Department of Health says nearly 18,000 people across the state have had flu-like activity so far this season.

For such a high volume of flu cases so early, Erwin expects it to be a long season.

"I mean the way it's looking, staying pretty steady, growing everyday, we could see it up until February or March," Erwin said.

However, there is one positive to staying so busy.

"It makes a 12-hour shift go by quick," Erwin said. "You don't get much lag time. Patients come in  and we get them in and out as fast as we can."

The Louisiana Department of Health is scheduling flu vaccination days throughout the state at little or no cost to the patients. Click here for the list of locations and times.


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