LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky health officials are encouraging the public to get a flu shot early this season as it has the potential to be as bad as last season's epidemic.
Even though it is still summer, doctors say you should already start preparing for the upcoming flu season.
"Last year's flu season was one of the worst we've had. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts more than 50,000 deaths from the flu and its complications," emergency room physician Dr. Ryan Stanton says, "We've been seeing cases in mid-August and admitted some this weekend."
Stanton says doctors are hopeful that this early surge will slow down ahead of traditional flu season between December and March, but it is important to get vaccinated sooner rather than later.
"You don't want to wait until the season is in full swing to get your vaccine because it takes two to three weeks from when you get your vaccine to when you start getting some protection."
Many recommend that for this season you get your flu shot before the end of October. Dr. Stanton says the vaccine should become more and more available through healthcare providers and pharmacies now that we are into September.