HATTIESBURG, MS - Traditionally, flu season peaks during the months of January and February.
On Monday, the Mississippi Department of Health confirmed its first flu case.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention more than 200,000 people nationwide are sent to the hospital because of the virus.
Dr. Astrid Compton from Merit Health Medical Group in Hattiesburg said some groups are more vulnerable to the virus than others.
"Your high risk groups are babies, pregnant women, and then the older population," Compton said.
Compton said hand washing is one of the easiest ways to prevent the virus from spreading.
"If they sneeze and things like that it's still on the surface," Compton said. "You can still get the virus from them."
The best form of protection is the flu vaccine. She recommends the shot for anyone six months and older.
"If your baby is less than six months, everyone around them needs to get vaccinated," Compton said.
"Not just parents, but grandparents and daycare workers."
This year's flu shot is predicted to be better than last year's.
"This one we're doing a trivalent and a quadrivalent which means three or four strands respectively and these ones seem to be covering the strands that are going around," Compton said.
With the flu staying around until the spring, Compton said it is never too late to get vaccinated.
For adults, the different types of vaccinations county departments this year are:
- Seasonal flu vaccination for $30
- Flu nasal mist for $35
- High-dose flu vaccination for those 65 and older for $55