Metro doctors already seeing flu cases -- and it's not even the season yet

Doctors are urging everyone to take precautions.

ATLANTA — Local doctors are already seeing sporadic cases of the flu and flu season is still a month away.

Doctors aren't sure if these latest cases are the result of last season's strain or a sign of an early flu season this year.

Either way, they're urging everyone to take precautions.

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Kerry Gorny she knows how bad the flu can be, so she makes sure her seven grandchildren get their flu shots.

"Every fall we get our flu shots," Gorny said. "It is so miserable. I mean you cannot get out of bed."

Flu cases usually pick up in October, but metro doctors are already seeing sporadic cases.

The Fulton County School District confirms flu cases at Crabapple Crossing Elementary School in Milton.

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The principal is notifying parents and health experts say this is a good reminder to be prepared.

"That's obviously immunization or vaccination and the flu vaccine should be available locally very soon in the Atlanta area," said Dr. Andi Shane with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Doctors recommend everyone six months or older be vaccinated.

"It is a very, very serious infection. Last year in the Atlanta area we had three children who had deaths that were associated with flu infections," Shane said.

Gorny said if you don't want to get a flu shot to protect yourself, do it to protect others.

“Of course anybody who is involved in taking care of others, like teachers, need to get them, health care workers," Gorny said.

Another important reminder: Even though the new school year just started, if your child is sick, keep them home.

"In general, what we recommend is that you stay away for 24 hours of no fever and obviously you have to be able to feel like you can participate in school or child care activities," Shane said.

Earlier this summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last season's flu vaccine was only 29% effective, because it didn't protect against a strain that appeared later in the season.

Still, doctors say a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself.