Flu season could be bad, some experts warn

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- Some health experts say we could be in for a bad flu season ahead and they are urging everyone to get a flu shot as soon as possible.

In central Indiana, cases of the flu are already being diagnosed.

“It’s very important for people to get their flu shots early on,” said Dr. Nikki Stuckwisch of IU Health, “because if it [flu season] peaks in December that means it’s starting now.”

Stuckwisch said last year’s flu season peaked in December and then again in February. She has already seen her first case this season.

“I think I’ve tested four or five people and one of them was positive,” said Stuckwisch.

And for a look at what the U.S. could be in for, officials are looking Down Under, since Australia’s flu season happens months earlier than it does in the U.S.

“They had a large number of people who came down with the flu and it was a serious outbreak for them,” said Stuckwisch.

More troubling, data from the federal government shows less than half of all Americans got a flu shot last year.

“Never thought about it, never thought it was important,” said Indianapolis resident Courtney Brackin, who said she never gets a flu shot. Her friend Taylor Wilson said the same thing.

Brackin and Wilson are also millennials, a group which, according to new a survey by CityMD, is less likely to stay home from work when they get the flu.

“If I had the plague I’d probably still be at work,” said Wilson.

Doctors typically say that approach is not smart for either yourself or those around you.

“That’s not a good idea because when the person who has influenza goes out and either works or goes to the store, they are spreading virus everywhere they go,” said Stuckwisch.

Bottom line, officials say now is the time to get the shot, especially for the young, elderly, or those with weakened immune systems.

“We’re seeing the flu already, it’s coming, and we need to get immunized now,” said Stuckwisch.

Something else doctors want to stress is the flu vaccine does not contain a live virus and it cannot make you sick.