ROCHESTER, Minn. - Flu season is off to an early and alarming start, and just in time for the holidays.
Mayo Clinic doctors say there's still time to get a flu vaccine if you act fast.
"The ideal time would've been at least two weeks ago, however we're at the early part of the epidemic this year," Pritish Tosh, an infectious disease physician and researcher at Mayo Clinic, said. "If someone hasn't gotten their flu shot, they really need to do it quickly."
It will take about two weeks for the antibodies to develop in the body.
Doctors say flu season this year is striking faster and earlier than usual, more specifically Influenza B.
With the infection being so unpredictable, it's important to get a vaccine to protect yourself.
"We're in the early part of the influenza B epidemic," Tosh said. "It's no telling how long this epidemic is going to go, but also we don't know if there's going to be other viruses that come in later in the season, other influenza viruses for which the vaccine should be effective."
Good hygiene also goes a long way so it's important to wash your hands often with soap and water, as well as stay away from people who are sick.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is widespread in 30 states including Minnesota.
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