Cold and flu season has hit central New York early this year.

Influenza is sporadic in New York but more cases are being reported by the Department of Health earlier than in 2017. In the first part of October 2017, New York saw less than 50 cases. In the last few weeks, there's been over 75.

NYS Dept of Health

Influenza by Counties

Green, Fulton and Montgomery are the hardest hit counties in New York. In central New York, Oneida and Onondaga are seeing cases of influenza already too.

NYS Dept of Health

The flue season is above the national average of 2.2% in New York, at 3.1%. Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas are the only states higher at 4%. It usually peaks between December and February but can last as late as May.

The Center for Disease Control recommends getting a flu shot before flu begins spreading in your community. "It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins."

Find where you can get a flu shot in your area.