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Flu Is Next Door

New CDC data reveals Louisiana made the list of top seven U.S. states with high flu activity in November. LSU Health Shreveport Assistant Professor Dr. Ammar Husan said he sees this first-hand in his clinic. Around two-thirds of his patients have upper respiratory symptoms. The doctor said to avoid sickness, he advises keeping your hands away from your face, washing your hands often, avoiding people with flu-like symptoms, and wearing a mask.

According to the Texas Department of State and Health Services, almost 21% of antigen tests for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) were positive on November 21 in Northeast Texas. That’s almost double the infection rate on November 4, 11.25%.

The state defines Northeast Texas as Gregg, Rains, Wood, Van Zandt, Henderson, Anderson, Cherokee, Smith, Upshur, Camp, Titus, Franklin, Morris, Marion, Harrison, Cass, Bowie, Franklin, Delta, Lamar, and Hopkins counties.

“RSV symptoms can range from what you’d see in a typical cold — runny nose, the sniffles, fevers — to a horrible cough, wheezing, and severe respiratory distress,” said Dr. Tiffany Turner, a pediatrician at Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview.

Now, there are two vaccines and one non-vaccine treatment for RSV.
One vaccine is Arexvy, manufactured by GSK, a British pharmaceutical company; the other is Abrysvo, manufactured by Pfizer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved both for patients older than 60. Still, in August, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also approved Abrysvo for pregnant women in their third trimester.