Louisiana Reports First Pediatric Flu Death Amidst Rising Respiratory Infections

Published 1:11 pm Monday, December 25, 2023

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) confirmed the state’s first pediatric flu death on Friday, December 22, just before Christmas. While essential details such as the child’s age, identity, and specific region within the state are undisclosed, the LDH did not provide the date of the child’s death.

Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported elevated levels of flu-like illnesses in 17 states last week, up from 14 the previous week. Louisiana, identified by the CDC, is one of two states experiencing very high respiratory illnesses. According to CDC data released this week, South Carolina currently leads in the intensity of respiratory infections seen in emergency rooms.

Health authorities stress the importance of preventive measures, including vaccination, hand hygiene, and mask-wearing, to mitigate the spread of these contagious respiratory illnesses. As the holiday season unfolds, public adherence to health guidelines becomes crucial to curb further infections.

The LDH continues to monitor the situation closely and collaborates with federal health agencies to address ongoing public health concerns in Louisiana. Residents are urged to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to protect the health of their communities amidst the challenges posed by the overlapping waves of respiratory illnesses.