According to the Center for Disease Control the typical flu season begins in early October and runs through the end of May. Which means it's flu shot time as health officials are bracing for a potentially miserable fall and winter.

The clues: The Southern Hemisphere, especially Australia, was hit hard over the past few months with a flu strain that's notorious for causing severe illness, especially in seniors.

And in the U.S., small clusters of that so-called H3N2 flu already are popping up.

Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases calls that flu strain "the bad actor."

The CDC recommends that anyone older than six months should get a flu shot, they are not recommending the nasal spray anymore. In June 2016 the CDC reported the spray was only 3% effective.

They say you should get the vaccine even if it is after the start of flu season. The flu vaccine will not cause the flu, but it will make the symptoms milder if you do get sick.

During the 2016-17 season, the CDC reported 140 pediatric flu deaths. Children under the age of 6, pregnant women and adults 65 or older are at high risk for serious flu complications like inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues or multi-organ failure

The CDC says people can carry the virus and expose others even if they little symptoms. Most experts think the flu virus is spread when someone with flu coughs, sneezes or talks. They can infect you from six feet away

Frequently touched surfaces at work or school should be cleaned and disinfected especially if someone is ill.

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