Nearly 2,000 cases of influenza have been confirmed in Kansas City, Missouri, alone this flu season.
Doctors at Saint Luke's Health System and others in the Kansas City area are seeing an earlier spike in cases than in recent years past.
KCTV talked to Dr. Todd Hayes at Saint Luke's Community Hospital in Shawnee about how the flu shot is the most effective way to lower your chances of getting the flu and reduce the severity of the virus if you do catch it.
"If you do get the vaccination and still get sick, you should have less symptoms as compared to someone that didn't get it," Dr. Hayes said. "The cases we've seen, certainly they bounce back a lot quicker and aren't nearly as sick than if they didn't get the shot at all."
Watch the full story below.
Dr. Hayes talks to KCTV about how to best protect yourself from getting the flu.