Flu gets an early start this year, but it’s not too late for a flu shot

This photo shows a woman getting a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control says already 30 states are impacted by flu this season. (Source: KSWB via CNN)

(CNN/Gray News) - This year's flu season is getting an early start, according to experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

They say 30 states are already recording flu activity and for this time of the year, that's the highest number they've seen in decades.

In fact, in California, Louisiana and Maryland cases of flu are already widespread. Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Texas are seeing regional cases of the virus.

Health officials say it's more important than ever to get a flu shot now, and so far, the vaccine appears to be a good match to fight the active strains making people sick.

According to the CDC, most people who get sick with the flu do not need medical care and will recover within about two weeks.

Certain populations are more at-risk for serious complications as flu can make certain health conditions worse. Those who are at a higher risk include people older than 65, pregnant women, children younger than 5 (and especially those younger than 2), children with neurological conditions and people with diabetes, heart disease, asthma, HIV/AIDS or cancer.

Serious complications can include pneumonia and be life-threatening.

Symptoms of the flu include: Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue (tiredness), and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. Also, it’s important to note that not everyone who gets sick with the flu will have a fever.

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(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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