BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — As flu cases rise in the southeastern part of the state, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is urging people to get vaccinated.

Data shows that as of Monday, Nov. 14, the flu in Louisiana has reached its highest point in the past five years, according to LDH.

State health officials said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates at least 2.8 million cases, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 1,300 death during this flu season so far.

“Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu shot,” Dr. Kanter said. “The vaccine is especially important for young children. Since 2004-2005, flu-related deaths in children have ranged from 37 deaths to 199 deaths each year in the U.S., and approximately 80% of pediatric flu deaths occurred in children who did not get a flu shot.”

LDH reports five pediatric deaths due to the flu in the U.S.

The state health department adds that Louisiana’s flu season begins to rise in October and peaks between holidays and Mardi Gras.

To make an appointment, vaccines.gov.