In just one week flu numbers have more than doubled in Lubbock County. Across the nation the flu has been more severe, and has started earlier than it has in years.
"Having this many cases this early is a concern," said Beckie Brawley, the Public Health Coordinator for the Lubbock Health Department.
She says this year's numbers are higher than normal, and they're growing.
"The numbers are increasing. We had a substantial increase from last weeks numbers to this week's numbers, more than doubled, nearly tripled in the number of influenza like illness," said Brawley.
Flu numbers went up from 374 in the last week of December to 1,012 in the first week of January. And it's not just the numbers that are alarming, the CDC says this year's strain is severe.
"It's a very virulent strain which means a very aggressive strain, and we are seeing more flu this year than we have seen for the last two years," said Brawley.
"We are seeing probably double the number that we usually see. They are coming in with high fevers. Anywhere from 101 all the way up to 104, cough congestion," said Nurse Practitioner Michelle Houghton.
Houghton says she started seeing flu patients around Thanksgiving, well before the start of normal flu seasons.
"We are seeing three month olds, four months olds coming up positive for the flu. We are definitely seeing our younger population with it," said Houghton.
Both Brawley and Houghton said luckily this year's flu shot matches the flu strain and has been very successful at protecting people. They encourage healthy people who are around young children and elderly to get the shot.
"Healthy people can protect those around them that are not as healthy and protect them from getting the flu by getting a flu shot," said Brawley.
At the Health Department they say it is not too late to get your flu shot.
They have 45 doses left for kids, 80 for adults. If you're interested, call their number at 775-2933.