GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — The winter flu season is already here. The last time it started this early was in 2003.
The CDC released a map of flu activity in the United States. The worst of it, for now, is off to the south, but cases are on the rise in Michigan.
"Flu is very hard to predict, all we know is we wait for it to happen," Kent County Health Department Epidemiologist Brian Hartl said.
As of the end of November, Kent County had 56 reported cases of the flu.
"About three quarters were Influenza B type and the rest were Influenza A," Hartl said.
It's generally the other way around.
"Typically the way Influenza season starts is that Influenza A is predominant throughout most of the season up until like late spring," Hartl said.
The flu shot protects you from four different strains including Influenza A and B.
"Usually we see hundreds of cases each week in peak flu season, right now we're seeing 10 to 20 cases per week," Hartl said.
Flu season continues until April and May and the peak hasn't hit yet.
"Not seeing a lot of Influenza activity in terms of confirmed cases, so you've got plenty of time to still get that flu shot," Hartl said. "True Influenza is very serious so you want to protect yourself as much as possible no matter what your age is."
Other stories on 13 ON YOUR SIDE:
- Winter flu season is here early, could be intense
- Good hand-washing is the best way to stay healthy
- It's not too late for a flu shot
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