A year ago 61,000 people died from influenza and health experts said it was the longest season in decades.
One myth addressed: the flu shot can give you the flu.
The Stephens County Health Department and the Chickasaw Nation are once again teaming up to provide a free drive-up flu shot clinic.
"Flu season begins in the beginning of October, and so, while it does seem early, it's not entirely unexpected". "We recommend any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine, including the nasal spray vaccine, which is back this year". The flu vaccine is also available and can be administered at local pharmacists.
"This year's seasonal flu vaccine is a quadrivalent vaccine which protects against the four strains of flu virus recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the strains most likely to be circulating in the northern hemisphere this season". More than 340 pharmacies will offer free flu vaccinations this season.
Anyone over 6 months old should be getting their flu shot, even if you haven't gotten the flu before.
The very young and elderly people were affected most and the median age of people who died from the illness was 86 years. For the 2018-2019 season, the first hospitalization from the illness was in November. "People in high-risk categories should contact their GP if they develop flu symptoms" said Dr Cuddihy. "By getting the vaccine, healthcare staff are protecting themselves, their families, their colleagues, friends and the people they look after in the health service". Seniors often have chronic health conditions (like heart or lung disease or diabetes) and weaker immune systems, which makes them particularly vulnerable to complications from influenza.
Also, you can take simple steps to prevent catching or spreading the flu, Epperson said.
Community members should do not forget to always cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze and wash their hands frequently.