Posted: Nov 4, 2009 9:23 AM by Kate Mundy
Updated: Nov 4, 2009 9:23 AM
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is reporting six new deaths this past week from the swine flu. The death toll statewide now stands at 30.
Two boys and two women died in the past week in the seven parish Acadiana region. One teen from Moss Bluff died, and a woman from region nine also died.
Jonathon Fontenot was discovered last week by his sister. He had collapsed on the floor and was not breathing. "I'm still in shock. I can't believe my son is gone," said Chris Fontenot.
Before the 8th grader came down with swine flu, he was otherwise healthy with no underlying conditions. One-third of children who've died in the United States have been like Jonathon.
Louisiana DHH estimates that 121,000 residents have been sickened with the virus. "We've seen individual throughout Acadiana with serious complications from the flu, people with chronic medical conditions, young children adults who've had medical problems and some who've previously been healthy," said Dr. Tina Stefanski of the Department of Health and Hospitals, region four.
The swine flu vaccines are not yet widely available. So far, 541 providers have the vaccines in Louisiana and shots are only available to those most at risk including parents with babies under 6 months, people with pre-existing conditions and pregnant women.
Any Lab Test Now on Johnston Street in Lafayette has seen a rush of patients since they got their shipment. "A lot of women have had relief. Today I had a lady that came in and she was just at ease because she was able to find it, she was able to get it," said Mitzi Lanclos.
Health officials are stressing the importance of getting vaccinated. Next week, you can log onto www.fighttheflula.com for a list of locations where vaccines will be available to the public.