Flu season is here, the earliest it's arrived in 15 years. And it's only going to get worse.

The Center for Disease Control has seen elevated Influenza activity over the past several weeks and expects it'll continue to increase. "Activity is being caused mostly by a virus unusual for this time of year."

The last time flu season began this early was 2003-2004 and health experts say it was a bad one.

16 states are seeing widespread flu activity already this season, including New York.

Photo by CDC

The New York State Flu Tracker shows there were more than 1,000 laboratory-confirmed influenza reports, a 59% increase over last week. There were only 456 at this time last year.

Oneida County - 39
Onondaga County - 131
Oswego County -15
Herkimer County - 24
Madison County 10

Photo by NY Health Department

Unlike a cold, flu symptoms start suddenly. They appear anywhere from 1 to 4 days after you are exposed to the flu.

Flu symptoms may include:
Fever or feeling feverish/chills
Cough
Sore throat
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
Headache
Tiredness
Some people have vomiting or diarrhea. This is more common in children.

The flu season is just getting started; elevated flu activity is expected to continue for weeks. It’s not too late to get vaccinated. The New York Health Department recommends getting a shot to avoid getting the flu this season.

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