Flu season will apparently continue well into April and even May in the United States this year as the virus remains widespread, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) weekly report.
Forty-eight states and Puerto Rico have been reporting a continued elevated flu activity.
A second wave of the flu – with a new, stronger strain – is already prevalent in the southeast, according to Healthline.
Dr. David Cutler of the Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, warned "Since there are multiple strains of flu virus going around, it is certainly possible to get the flu more than once."
This is so even though you cannot catch the same strain twice, because you can get another strain if you are not immunized.
Cutler said "The best way to reduce your chance of getting the flu is to get the flu vaccine," emphasizing "this year's flu vaccine has definitely been effective in reducing flu cases and case severity."
Cutler stressed "The people at greatest risk of the flu are the elderly (over age 65), the very young (under age 5), and those with compromised immune systems."
The CDC recently estimated the vaccine "reduced the risk of medically attended influenza-related illness by almost half (47 percent) in vaccinated people this year."
Cutler added it can take up to two weeks after receiving the shot to build up immunity, so it is preferable to get the shot as soon as possible.
There have already been more than 26 million cases of the flu in the U.S. since Oct. 1, with more than 12.4 million flu-related medical visits and up to 31,200 deaths caused by the virus.