Lafayette Now a Hot Spot for Seasonal Flu
You've probably had a similar situation happen in your life. You're standing in line at the grocery store checkout and suddenly you need to sneeze. It's quite a dilemma. Do you allow nature to take its course and you cover up your droplet filled explosion of air with your elbow or do you pinch your nose and hold your breath?
Neither solution is a good solution in this day and time. However, I don't suggest you try to hold a sneeze in, that could lead to other complications. While just sneezing, depending on how well you cover your tracks will only get you looked at.
We are currently living in a state of high anxiety where coughs, colds, the flu, and COVID, all seem to fit nicely under one anxious umbrella. As we've watched COVID case counts in the state skyrocket over the past few weeks thanks to the Omicron Variant, we are now starting to get reports that seasonal flu is back in a big way too.
Walgreen's Drugstores publish a weekly "Flu Index" during the flu season. Last year with everyone staying inside and sequestering from COVID flu cases were way down. That is not the case for this year and leading the charge into the seasonal flu is us, us being Louisiana.
The Walgreen's Index currently has both Lafayette and Monroe in the top ten cities where flu is an issue. And while you might think that getting your COVID shot would protect you from the flu, it won't. Healthcare providers say you really need to get your COVID shots and your boosters and you still need a seasonal flu vaccine.
The good news is that flu shots are often given without an out of pocket charge for those with insurance. In many cases, the various health units around the state can also provide a flu shot free of charge too. Obviously, your choice to get that shot is a personal decision.
Oh and if you're planning a trip in the next week or so just know that Nashville and several cities in eastern Tennessee including Knoxville, Chattanooga, and the Tri-Cities around Bristol are all in the top 10 for flu activity. So, before you make that run to Gatlinburg, get your flu shot.
Speaking of road trips, let's make sure we get there safely too.