TYLER, TX (KLTV) - This year's flu season is already turning out to be a tough one.
"Well, we've learned that this flu season there's going to be a more severe strain of flu that's in circulation right now," NET Health Public Information Officer Terrance Ates said.
Ates said people should be aware of the virus between October and March of each year. Health experts said the flu can affect people in different ways because it's based on their individual immune systems. The vaccine itself takes time to take effect; which is why they are urging people to get their flu shot as soon as possible.
"Generally it takes about two weeks after you receive your flu vaccine for the vaccine to take effect [and] to attain its maximum potency. So we encourage people if you haven't had the flu shot yet you want to get the flu shot now," he said.
Ates said people can catch the virus during the holiday seasons because of increased interaction with other people.
"In a couple weeks when families start to get back together again for Christmas holiday and you may be doing last second Christmas shopping where you're going to be around large groups of people; that's when the flu virus starts to spread at its most," he said.
[endif]The vaccine is an inactive form of the flu virus and experts said it is vital for babies, elderly people, and people who already have a compromised immune system.
He said the flu shot allows a person's body to take care of itself if and when it encounters the flu virus.