Gearing up for battle: What Australia's tough flu season means for us

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A person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it.

Vaccines in the United States this season are created to protect against two A strains (H1N1 and H3N2) and up to two B strains (B/Victoria lineage and B/Yamagata lineage), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tens of thousands of people die every year of complications from influenza, according to the CDC.

With the arrival of October marking the official start of flu season, health officials in parts of the United States are already reporting their first flu cases and encouraging the public to start receiving their flu shots.

Since 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older receive a flu vaccine each season.

"Now is a great time to get a vaccination", Martin said.

It's flu season in Oklahoma. There is no fee for the flu vaccine. A year ago the first flu-related death in Idaho occurred in December, and a total of 72 individuals in the state died due to flu-related illnesses.

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For students who have paid their health center fee, the Birkam Health Center offers flu shots and will bill their insurance. The symptoms may last for a day or two, but are much less severe than actual influenza, according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Want to find out where the flu shot is available near you?

San Diego County's Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday that the number if influenza cases rose sharply as compared to this time past year.

The county also released a list of things people can do to avoid the risk of getting the flu.

By the same time previous year, 71 cases had been reported.

The FDA approved vaccines are created to offer extra protection beyond the standard flu shot. "You can prevent missing work or school, visits to the doctor or hospitalizations, and protecting others from coming down with the flu".

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