Health officials: Swine flu outbreak in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Health officials say Louisiana physicians are seeing a big uptick in flu-type illnesses as patients line up at doctor's offices and hospitals across the state.

The rate is nearly three times what the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention projects as normal for the region.

Dr. Frank Welch, immunization medical director for the state Office of Public Health, tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/19PKNtC ) it's virtually all the swine flu variety, known as H1N1 influenza.

The normal rate for the flu in CDC counts, what the federal agency calls the "base line" is about 3 percent or 2.9 patients with flu-type illnesses per 100 patient visits to a doctor's office or clinic. Louisiana is now above 8 percent, almost triple what the normal rate for this region.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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