IMPORTANT: Doctors warn you should get your flu shot much earlier this year

ATLANTA, Ga. — It's only mid-September but some doctors are already seeing cases of the flu.

While the flu season usually starts in full force in December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and many doctors are urging people to get flu shots by October at the latest.

The concern comes after last year's flu season was so severe. The CDC reported at least 180 children died last year due to the flu.

Not only were there flu deaths, but tens of thousands of people had to go to the hospital. 

Channel 2’s Carol Sbarge looked into what the expectations are for this upcoming season.

"It's always hard to predict but this is possibly going to be a rough season," pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu told Channel 2 Action News.


Typical flu symptoms are high fever and a dry cough that come on suddenly. Doctors say you can help prevent the spread of flu by good hand-washing, getting the vaccine and staying home if you're sick.

The vaccine could take another month or two for the antibodies to fully develop after the shot. That is why doctors told Channel 2 getting a shot in the next six weeks is key.

“It’s recommended everyone get the flu vaccine before Halloween. That’s easy for parents especially with kids to remember. So don’t get trick-or-treating unless you’ve gotten your flu shot,” Shu said.