The CDC sounds the warning:

This year’s flu season has kicked in early, with activity up significantly across the nation, particularly in the south and southeast, federal health officials say.

“It looks like it’s shaping up to be a bad flu season,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The percentage of aching, feverish folks who went to the doctor with influenza-like illness had reached the national baseline of 2.2 percent, the earliest that has happened in the regular flu season in nearly a decade, the 2003-2004 season. Flu season may start as early as October, but typically peaks in January or later.

JoNel Aleccia tells us why it’s not too late to get your flu vaccine:

Health officials are urging people to get their flu shots now, including babies older than six months, and all adults and children. Every year, about a quarter of the U.S. population gets the flu and an average of about 36,000 people die.

The key to avoiding the flu is getting the shot, the experts said.

“We are particularly encouraging people who haven’t gotten vaccinated to do it,” said Dr. Melinda Wharton, acting director of the CDC’s Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Please call our offices to schedule a flu vaccine for your child.  Some of our offices are also offering vaccines to parents.  We’ll make it easy for you!  We do not want your child (or you) to get the flu.

See previous PediaBlog posts about influenza here.

Read article from NBC News here.