BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) —The latest pediatric death is in southeast Louisiana; the first was in northwest Louisiana.

The state Department of Health and Hospitals said Friday that since Oct. 1, tests have confirmed at least 46 deaths statewide from influenza. But, officials say hundreds die in Louisiana each year without ever being diagnosed with the flu or from other conditions made worse by the flu so the figure doesn't represent the full risk to the population.

H1N1 is the dominant strain of flu currently circulating. Officials expect this year's flu season to continue into April.

State officials strongly encourage all residents older than six months to protect themselves and their families by getting a seasonal flu vaccination.