Swine flu still a threat
Since the beginning of April, state health officials estimate that Louisiana has had 20,000 cases of H1N1, better known the swine flu.
The outbreak, which began in April, has mainly affected children or young adults between the age of 5-24.
One of the confirmed cases has been at Port Barre Elementary School in St. Landry Parish. After learning of the child’s condition, the school’s janitorial staff has been disinfecting surfaces in areas where the school’s students, faculty, and staff are generally present.
According to the weekly influenza report issued by our state’s Department of Health and Hospitals, of the 449 cases of swine flu in Louisiana, no one in the 65 years or older group has tested positive for the illness.
“Older people may have been exposed to a lot of flu over the years that was similar to swine flu,” said Dr. Raoult Ratard, the state’s epidemiologist. “These people may now have some low immunity to it.”
Though the number of H1N1 cases are estimates, what has become clear is that the disease is targeting young people.
“It is not obvious why swine flu is affecting children,” Ratard said. “What is obvious, though, is that it seems to affect children and young adults.”
This past weekend, H1N1 hit Sorority Row at LSU when about 20 students contracted the flu during Greek rush week.
By Tuesday, that number had jumped to 52 cases according to Herb Vincent, LSU associate vice chancellor for communications.