Ochsner Health is a system that delivers health to the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate.
According to recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, Louisiana had already experienced a “high” outbreak of influenza (flu) prior to December. Ochsner Primary Care physician Michelle Becnel, M.D. (8150 Jefferson Hwy., Baton Rouge), says that the number of flu cases is only expected to rise. “With so many people getting together for family gatherings, holiday parties and shopping, the flu tends to spread much easier. Because of this, flu activity usually peaks between December and February.”
We often cross paths with people that may be at higher risk of getting or spreading the flu. Protecting the health and well-being of our family, friends and co-workers is a responsibility shared by everyone. The best way to receive this protection is to get the flu vaccine (shot) every year.
Who should get the flu shot?
It takes up to 14 days after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body. For this reason, a flu shot should be received no later than December 10 to lessen your risk in time for Christmas. Getting the shot later can still be beneficial and vaccination can occur throughout flu season, even into January or later.
Tips to avoid contracting and/or spreading the flu virus.
Since 2010, CDC estimates that flu has resulted in between 140,000 and 960,000 hospitalizations each year. CDC estimates that from 2010-2011 to 2017-2018, influenza-associated deaths in the United States ranged from a low of 12,000 (during 2011-2012) to a high of 79,000 (during 2017-2018).
Flu Shot FACTS
For more information, visit the CDC flu website. To schedule an appointment with an Ochsner practitioner, call 225-761-5200 or visit www.Ochsner.org/info to schedule online.
About Ochsner Medical Center - Baton Rouge
The Greater Baton Rouge region is home to Ochsner Medical Center - Baton Rouge, a full-service, 150-bed facility and 13 Ochsner Health Centers across Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston and Tangipahoa Parishes – including Ochsner Cancer Center – Baton Rouge. Nearly 2,000 employees serve our patients in the Greater Baton Rouge area, including more than 180 physicians and Advanced Practice Providers whose collective dedication to patient care is recognized for quality excellence by Becker’s Hospital Review, Healthgrades, Truven Health Analytics and Leapfrog. Ochsner Baton Rouge is a part of Ochsner Health System, Louisiana’s largest non-profit healthcare delivery system. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital nationally recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and 60 countries worldwide each year. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.