FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Influenza is something we have to worry about every year, but it's not always easy to tell what the trend is going to be.
Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan says there are some signs, with the Southern Hemisphere having a pretty bad flu season.
"We kind of predicted, the way the map was kind of unfolding this year that this would be about the time of year that we're really going to start seeing a lot of cases and sure enough that's what we're hearing from our health care providers," McMahan said.
Steven Ross is a Physician with RediMed here in Fort Wayne, he can confirm the number of patients he's seeing is going up.
Ross said, "Our volumes are obviously up and they're up probably 10 - 15%, maybe as high as 20%."
The flu hitting this hard so early is unusual and Dr. McMahan says this season is unusual for another reason as well.
"Usually we see Influenza A first, usually January, February, March. Usually in February and March is when we see it," McMahan said. "Then Influenza B, March, April, May, that comes later. Well this year it all came earlier."
In Indiana, nine people have died due to influenza this season.
Dr. McMahan says no confirmed deaths have happened in our area, but some are being investigated.
There are a number of other illnesses going around this year as well that mimic the symptoms of influenza.
Here's what to look out for with influenza according to Ross.
"It's is a respiratory illness. It usually comes on relatively suddenly. Usually has fever, aches and pain, coughing and sore throat. Just in general people feel miserable," Ross said.
If you haven't yet, get your flu shot.
You can wear a mask in public to help prevent the spread and if you feel like you have the flu get it treated, that way you don't become a flu death statistic.