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It is officially flu season. How can you prevent getting sick?

READ MORE: Flu season: How can you prevent getting sick?
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It is official, flu season is here. At least one local doctor’s office has seen it's first confirmed case of the flu. So how fast will it spread, and how can you prevent yourself from getting sick? Experts News Channel 3 spoke with said a surge in flu cases will happen in just a couple of weeks, so prepare now to stay healthy. Dr. Paul Kamitsuka, and infectious disease specialist, will be busy in the next couple weeks, as many people in our area come down with the flu. "Usually it's like, boom you've got the flu, and within a day you are quite sick," he said. As soon as a couple people come down with the flu Kamitsuka said the virus spreads rapidly through out the community. "If you have the flu, in many and in most cases, you'll feel like you've been hit by a Mack truck." If you have a fever, cough and achy body, chances are you have got the virus. "Those of us who are healthy may be really sick for about a week or more," Kamitsuka said. The flu can be deadly for the elderly, or those with medical problems like heart and lung disease. Dr. Kamitsuka added, "Each year 36,000 people die of the flu and there are 226,000 hospitalizations due to the flu. It can be a fatal illness, which is why it's so important for us to get the flu vaccination." Even though the flu season is here, doctors say the flu shot can still prevent you from getting sick. "We generally vaccinate for the flu into March because you still may get some protection from the flu shot," Dr. Kamitsuka said. To protect yourself from the flu, and to stop the spread of it, Kamitsuka recommends everyone eligible get the vaccine. "Anyone that's over 6 months old that doesn't have a severe egg allergy really ought to be getting the flu shot." If you do get the flu there are medicines available to shorten the duration and lessen the affect of the virus, but doctors say the flu shot is your best defense. Flu season starts now and ends in March.

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