Have you gotten your flu shot? If not, you might want to think about doing so.
A report released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health for the week ending on December 31, 2016 shows that flu is on the rise.
A small poke is far better than catching the flu and being out of commission from school, work, or those activities you love to do for a few days, or in some cases, weeks.
The report shows the state's flu status has been elevated from local to regional geographic spread.
This means the flu is spreading at an increasing rate.
So far this flu season, 124 people have been hospitalized in the state, 11 of those cases being right here in Southeast Minnesota.
The majority of those hospitalized are ages 65 and up, which makes sense, as this year's flu strain is that of H3N2.
H3N2 typically affects that 65 and up age group moreso than other ages, so getting the flu shot is especially important for this group.
The report also stresses how important it is that pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions get vaccinated.
For parents who get the nasal spray vaccine for their kids, it might be a good idea to get them a shot this year, as the nasal spray vaccine was found to not be effective in preventing flu over the past three flu seasons.
Symptoms of the flu tend to come on suddenly, and can include a sore throat, coughing, fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue.
Anyone who has these flu-like symptoms should seek medical care immediately.