flu season

The early start to flu season that's sweeping the country hasn't spared Louisiana and Mississippi.

While the outlook for the rest of the season isn't clear, experts are encouraging people to take precautions such as getting a flu shot and making it a practice to wash hands often to prevent the spread of germs.

Both states are among 29 reporting high levels of flu-like illness. Although 18 children nationwide have died from the flu since early October, none was in Mississippi or Louisiana.