The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), today issued safety tips to help families prevent the spread of flu and stay healthy while traveling this holiday season.

"Holiday travel presents opportunities for influenza to spread between friends and family members from different communities, cities, and states throughout the nation, so it is important that we all take preventive steps to help fight the flu," said Dr. Jimmy Guidry, Louisiana State Health Officer. "If you are traveling by air, in a car, or just having a family dinner to celebrate the season, taking these steps can play a big role in keeping your friends, family, and neighbors healthy."

Four important and simple steps families and individuals can take to prevent spreading the flu while traveling:

  • Only travel when healthy. If you are sick, stay home.
  • Wash your hands often with soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with tissues or your sleeve.
  • Get a seasonal flu shot; if you are in a high-risk group for the 2009 H1N1 virus, get a 2009 H1N1 vaccination as well.

While 2009 H1N1 influenza transmission has showed signs of slowing in recent weeks, infection and illness continue to spread at a time when the state normally has little to no flu activity. It is important that residents take the appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the virus and other germs that cause illness. For more information regarding travel this holiday season and the flu, visit

DHH’s Fight the Flu campaign aims to keep Louisianians healthy by promoting immunizations and good hygiene to prevent the spread of the seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus. For more information on flu activity in Louisiana, including guidance for families and medical professionals, visit or follow the campaign at

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit