Health officials urging people to get flu shots soon as more cases emerge

Health officials urging people to get flu shots soon as more cases emerge

Flu season is upon us and state health officials say they're already monitoring more than 80 cases of the flu since the beginning of September – and that's just in Massachusetts.

Families are urged to take precaution and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Health experts that Boston 25 News spoke to say there's no time like the present to get your flu shot. It might seem early in the season for people to be catching the flu, but state officials say the 82 cases reported here are about average.

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"The season has started," said Rina Patel, a nurse practitioner at American Family Care Urgent Care. "We're flu testing now and we're giving the shots out."

Doctors say the flu vaccine takes about two weeks to kick in, so they're urging patients to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

"People can catch the flu from anywhere, if you have a cough or a runny nose or anything like that, make sure you protect yourself," Patel said.

Health officials say the best way to prevent the flu, in addition to the vaccine, is washing your hands, staying home or keeping your children at home if they show signs of cough, fever or runny nose.

Some are at a higher risk of serious health issues when catching the flu, according to health officials. That includes infants, older adults, women who are pregnant and adults with certain medical conditions.

Last year, 136 children died of the flu. That's why state health officials are urging families to take care of this sooner rather than later.

You can get your shot at your doctor's office, local pharmacies, or urgent care centers.