LA Top Health Official Predicts Covid19 Spike During Flu Season

Oct 1, 2020

Credit Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

LA COVID SPIKE PREDICTION   The Louisiana Legislature’s  special  session has been underway  for a few days and  committee meetings have been taking place  this week as lawmakers  question the state’s response to the Coronavirus, in particular Governor John Bel Edwards’  Emergency Mitigation Orders as businesses have had to shut down or operate at limited capacities which affects  the economy, employment rates and tax revenues.      During a Louisiana House Education Committee meeting in Baton Rouge yesterday,  the state’s top Public Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry got grilled by panel members about mitigation measures affecting businesses,  schools,  and limited attendance at sporting events,.  

"I predict there's going to be another spike and it's going to be in flu season," Dr. Guidry said. "And we're going to see as much if not more than what we saw in the spring."

During his testimony-  Dr. Guidry addressed  perceptions some people may have in thinking that Covid-19 is no worse than the flu.

"People say it's not any worse than the flu, you don't really know that, it hasn't been really long enough to know that because it's a new virus." Dr. Jimmy Guidry, State Health Officer of Louisiana

"People say it's not any worse than the flu, you don't really know that, it hasn't been really long enough to know that because it's a new virus," Guidry explained. "It has some effects on people, once they get an infection, weeks later, months later, it starts showing up in their hearts, it starts showing up in their kidneys. And so we do not know at this point in time what this virus brings to us."

As to curbing Covid19,  Dr. Guidry pointed out  that while health experts learn more about the illness every day;  he did say the mitigation measures used now have a historical context, using the painful lessons learned during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

PREDICTS CV19 SPIKE- Dr. Jimmy Guidry of LDH testifies before the La. House Education Committee in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, 09.30.20.
Credit Courtesy: La House Video Archive

"When you look at 1918, I hate to go back to that but that's what people did, they got comfortable and said not a big deal," Guidry said. "They had another spike which was almost double what the original spike because they stopped doing things that protected people,"

Governor  John Bel Edwards  moved Louisiana into Phase 3 reopening as the state's infection  and  hospitalization rates improved.  While some businesses such as restaurants have been allowed to increase occupancy up to 75%, crowd restrictions of 25% remain for sporting events and most bars remain closed. The Phase 3 Order  is set  to  expire  October 9th.