Columbus Ga, (WRBL) – Still haven’t gotten your flu shot?

Officials say now is the time and it is not too late. Flu season is off to an early start this year in Georgia. More than 200 people have been hospitalized and two people have died.

Dr. Ritu Chandra, a local pediatrician, says this flu season is by far the worst.

“So this is a very, very heavy flu season undoubtedly, because for one it started very early. In November we started seeing the flu, but in most seasons in the south we usually see it in March but this year is very widespread.”

Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers show us just how widespread the flu is this year. The CDC estimates more than 2.6 million flu-related illnesses nationwide.

“This year is looking worse than last year. And we’re a two pediatrician practice, and we’re seeing roughly 12 to 15 cases of the flu a day, and that’s is in the elderly and the young,” says Chandra.

One frequently asked question is: how can you notice early symptoms of the flu?

“So the flu is a multi-symptom disease and typically the presentation is fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, but also there are a lot of body aches and weaknesses,” says Dr. Ritu Chandra.

So what should you do if you notice that you are feeling symptoms of the flu?

“Starting out, if you know that you’re sick, it is really of service for you to stay away from everyone and not expose more people than we need to. Also, while we’re at home, be sure to do intense hand washing as frequently as possible,” says Chandra.

Doctors recommend you to do is to get your flu vaccination as soon as possible. Most doctors encourage residents to get their shot as early as the end of October.