It may be hard to believe, but flu season is already here, and flu shots are available across the area.
Health professionals are hoping that the public takes the virus seriously this season, and gets vaccinated.
Nurse practitioner Jennifer Lafferty is hoping that flu cases are few and far between at the Marion Primary Care Center this fall and winter.
Lafferty is stressing to patients, and to the public, that getting your flu shot now could save you serious headaches, literally, later in the season.
"We can see flu as early as September/October," said Lafferty. "It does peak in January and February, but what we really want to get out to the public is that they need to get on in and get vaccinated so, as we do begin to see cases, that people are prepared."
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone six months and older get vaccinated. Lafferty says it is important to stay away from school, and work, if you do end up getting the virus.
"With flu, you do not have to have fever, which is a common misconception," Lafferty said. "Also, you are contagious for up to 24 hours before the presence of any symptoms."
Lafferty says good hand washing habits and keeping children at home if they get sick will also help to stop to the spread of the flu. But again, she stresses the importance of going ahead and getting vaccinated.
"Just because you've had the flu doesn't build an immunity so you won't get it again," said Lafferty. "You can actually have one strain of a flu and get another one later on."