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2019 Flu season runs long, breaks record

Every flu season is different than the previous season. This season will go down in history as one of the longest.

“The only thing predictable about the flu is that it’s unpredictable.”

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) shows there’s been 21 weeks of elevated flu activity during the 2018/2019 flu season.

Dr. Juliette Stefanski, medical director of the Louisiana Office of Public Health Acadiana region says, “Usually, during flu season we see the peak right around the time of the holidays maybe January or February and then we see the rapid decrease. This year we really saw the peak January, February and then it persisted and lasted for several weeks.”

Nurse practitioner Mark Landry of Minute Med Walk-In Clinics in Lafayette believes because symptoms aren’t as severe as last years’ people may not be as alert.

“We’re still getting people coming with the flu with unusual symptoms this year’s it’s nausea, headaches those types of things which aren’t your typical flu symptoms.”

It doesn’t help that flu season is now dipping into allergy season.

Landry says, “I don’t know how many times I heard this year, ‘It’s not the flu, it’s not the flu,’ and I mean it was the flu.”

The good news is the decline is starting.

Dr. Stefanski says, “We’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the state of Louisiana and around the country in flu cases. We are still above what we would typically be.”