NEW ORLEANS — We hear it year after year: You need to get the flu shot.
The season lasts from around August to May, and with Carnival ramping up you may want to consider getting vaccinated.
The flu is unpredictable, it mutates and changes every season. With multiple strains of the virus, it's possible to get the flu twice in one season.
So what do you need to know? Here in Louisiana, officials are treating all types of flu. However, this season is different because doctors are seeing an early rise in Influenza-B, which typically doesn't happen until later.
If you get the flu, you're not going to necessarily know what strain you have unless you get test. You will, however, feel crummy. It is important to know, Influenza-B tends to hit children and young adults harder than the other subtypes.
In Louisiana, flu-cases involving 5- to 24-year-olds peaked a few weeks ago and it could happen again, so even if you're fit and healthy, you're still at risk.
It's why medical experts say get the flu shot and get it every flu season. It's made up of three to four viruses and is constantly updated. It's not a 100% match, but if you get the flu it could help keep you out of the hospital and from deadly complications.
And know, it also takes about two weeks for the antibodies that protect you to create that shield against the flu.
The last CDC report says 32 children have so far died this year from the flu, and many others have gotten ill. So do what you can to help protect you and your loved ones.