If your doctor has been bugging you to get a flu shot for a while, it may be about time for you to eat crow.  A surge of reports of flu and ILI (Influenza Like Infections) has been seen in northern Louisiana.

According to KNOE, a full 6-7% of patients visiting Northeast Louisiana healthcare facilities in the week leading up to Christmas reported flu-like symptoms like fever, nausea, and soreness.  Last year, the official Louisiana Department of Health numbers showed 13,611 cases of influenza and ILI as of December 23rd.  This year, those same reports show that the Bayou State has logged 44,561 cases of flu-like illnesses.

With the season peaking at the end of January through mid-February, experts expect  reported illnesses to rise even higher.  Doctors and health professionals still advise that the best way to protect yourself is to practice effective hand washing techniques and to get a flu shot.