BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Parish health units around the state have started offering flu vaccinations to all Louisiana residents ages six months and older.

The state Department of Health and Hospitals says in addition to protecting against seasonal flu, studies suggest the vaccine may also protect against heart attacks and stroke.

Those who would like to get a vaccination at a parish health unit should bring proof of insurance. Those without insurance will be charged $10.

Flu season begins in October and runs through April. Though flu activity is currently low, flu season in Louisiana typically peaks in February.

The flu is caused by the influenza virus, which is an infection of the respiratory system that causes fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, chills, fatigue and body aches.

Visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov/FightTheFlu for more information.

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