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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but flu season is in full effect.

“We are still below the regional baseline, which means, you know, we haven’t really reached what we would consider to be a high level of [flu] activity, but we are seeing increasing activity each week, and I expect that that will continue,” said state epidemiologist Theresa Sokol.

The staff at In & Out Urgent Care in Mandeville are busy at work, treating those patients.

“Flu’s been on the rise, definitely, I’d say over the last two weeks,” said nurse practitioner Judy Yaple. [We’ve] seen a lot of Flu A cases and some periodic Flu B cases, too.

Yaple says some patients who have walked through their doors became ill after attending a holiday party.

“From what I’m seeing in this clinic, most patients are having pretty mild symptoms, you know, runny nose, cough, just overall not feeling well, said Yaple. “So, even those mild symptoms can be a positive COVID or positive flu, even.”

To protect yourself from getting sick, healthcare professionals recommend washing your hands, using disinfectant, staying at home when sick and wearing a mask.

“[A mask is] going to help prevent pretty much all respiratory viruses, right? So, we see other respiratory viruses that are currently circulating, and so, this can really help protect us not just against COVID but against a lot of other pathogens that are transmitted in the same way,” explained Sokol.