Four children in Louisiana die from the flu - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Four children in Louisiana die from the flu

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Another child in Louisiana has died from the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the total now stands at four this flu season.

At Lakeside Children's Clinic in Metairie, 10-year-old Cole Bladsacker got some bad news Monday. His doctor diagnosed him with the flu.

"It does scare me," said Cole's mom, Amanda. "I have another child who has a pretty serious medical condition."

Amanda Bladsacker worries not only for Cole, but also for her younger daughter. Doctors say children and the elderly are more prone to serious complications - and even death - from the flu.

"It has to do with their immune system, their lung size, their lung structure," explains Dr. Keith Kappel.

The flu spreads easily among children, and this year the virus is affecting many more kids than in years past.

"It fluctuates from season to season," said Kappel. "We get light years and heavy years, and this is turning out to be a more heavy year."

At Lakeside Children's Clinic, 20 to 30 kids per week are testing positive.

"They don't wash hands, they put their hands in their mouths," Kappel said. "The very young, they suck on their thumbs still."

Kappel said hand-to-hand touching is the No. 1 way kids spread diseases, so parents need to remind children to wash their hands after going to the bathroom and to keep their hands away from their faces. He also urges parents to get flu shots for their children, if they haven't done so already.

"We're not out of the season," Kappel said. "The season can go through March sometimes."

Cole Bladsacker did get a flu shot, but unfortunately, he's still sick. The good news is, with some Tamiflu, he's expected to recover in just a couple days because his case isn't as severe as someone who didn't get the vaccine.

Kappel said pediatric deaths sometimes occur when children get respiratory pneumonia as a result of having the influenza virus.


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