Louisiana Department of Health is seeing an early start to flu activity, even resulting in a school closure in the Lafayette area due to flu cases.  Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter says it is a reminder the time to get the annual flu vaccine is now.

“It’s a very early start to the flu season for us.  If you ask the CDC, they’ll tell you the formal start to the season is not until early October, but for us in Louisiana, it is right now,” said Kanter.

Kanter says the flu shot is in stock in preparation for the flu season.

“Doctors offices are stocking them up, pharmacies are building their stock as well, but they are available,” said Kanter.

Kanter says flu season can be unpredictable as to when it can begin or how intense the season can be from year to year.

“Last year we saw 14,000 hospitalizations and 1,400 deaths and the year before that, 1,600 deaths, so we’ve had two really bad seasons back to back.  We really don’t want to have a third,” said Kanter.