Flu Season Off to a Slow Start
It's been a quiet start to the flu season, but a local pediatrician says that's not out of the ordinary. Infectious disease specialist Dr. John Vanchiere at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport says our area did see a few flu cases before the season officially began. He does say he's seen plenty of colds and other upper respiratory illnesses. Dr. Vanchiere says flu cases usually begin to increase right around Thanksgiving, when germs get "shuffled" -- because many folks are traveling to visit their families. He says he recommends you get your flu shot now, so the vaccine has time to take full effect. High-risk populations -- infants less than six months of age, people who will be around those infants, and the elderly -- are of particular concern. Dr. Vanchiere says toddlers and school-aged kids are the primary spreaders of germs throughout the community -- so parents should make sure their children are vaccinated.