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What do you need to know about the 2019 flu season

Is the flu season starting early? Is it too late to get the flu shot? We answer those questions.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Right now, there is a big push from doctors and medical professionals for people to get their flu shot as soon as possible. 

So far, there have been five confirmed cases of the flu in which patients were hospitalized in Lucas County since the cold weather arrived.

Technically, the flu season has not even started yet. 

"Last year at this time we had six, we have about twelve hundred vaccinations given out from this department alone. We want to make sure people are getting vaccinated who want and can get vaccinated," Toledo Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski said. 

Doctors usually see the highest number of flu cases between December and February, but, according to the CDC, numbers are rising right now. 

Cases of both Influenza A and B are being reported across the country. 

"Influenza A is a lot more common than Influenza B, and it tends to be milder. Influenza B though not as common, can sometimes be a severe infection" ProMedica physician Dr. Kanchan Pillai said. 

But how can you tell if symptoms are serious? Pillai said there are a few more severe symptoms you can look for that call for a doctor's attention.

"The flu, typically, there's very high fever and there can be a lot of body pain. But if they develop a lot productive cough or shortness of breath, then we could potentially be looking at pneumonia," Pillai said. 

There are a number of measures you can take to protect yourself, including washing your hands, staying away from others who are sick and, of course, getting the flu shot. 

It's not too late to get the vaccine. The health department does have a few more opportunities for you to get vaccinated for free. Click here for their full schedule.

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You can also check the CDC website to know more about the flu.