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Acadiana family loses son to flu, Louisiana still seeing high activity

Posted: 5:03 PM, Mar 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-14 18:16:51-04

Flu season is coming to an end, but even as cases decline, they’re still deadly. The CDC reports Louisiana is among 21 states that continue to have high activity of the virus this week.

One Acadiana family experienced a flu related death, and now they’re warning everyone to be prepared and take precautions. Nick Blanchard was just 32 when the flu took his life last week.

“It was really devastating, still is,” says his father, Ken, who watched Nick progress from feverish, to infected to a point of no return in a matter of days.

“The bacterial infection compromised the heart and during the day Friday they told us he only had 20 percent use of his heart, and that night he passed away,” says Blanchard.

Unfortunately, Acadiana doctors tell us there’s a whole lot of flu going around, and once you’ve experienced any symptoms, you’re at risk for a situation like Nick’s.

“People need to be aware once they start feeling better and then they feel worse again, that’s a warning sign and they need to seek medical attention immediately because it does progress rapidly,” says Doctor Tina Stefanski.

While it may seem late in the season, doctors still recommend taking preventative measures for the unseasonably late spread of the flu.

“If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet now is the time to get it. it takes about two weeks for it to be protective but its still not too late. Even though we would normally think this is really late, because of the number of viruses circulating in the community, its not too late,” says Stefanski.