Fight the flu before it hits you

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A headache, a fever and stuffy nose, are all signs of the flu and you might be seeing those symptoms sooner than later.

The flu spreads every year and comes as no surprise. While flu season typically begins in October and peaks in January, doctors expect to see cases earlier this year.

With that being said, you'll want to get a shot. Doctors say it's important to do this each year. Even if you got a shot at the end of the season, last year, the effectiveness wears off with time, so a new one is on the doctors order.

Flu shots are already available and don't wait, the CDC recommends you get one by October. While there's an array of shots, like the quadrivalent vaccine to help protect against four strains, the seasonal shot will protect you from the three prominent strains: an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus, according to the CDC.

For this flu season, the CDC does not have a preference for which shot you get, except they recommend healthy kids ages 2 to 8 get the nasal vaccine. Your best bet is to talk to a doctor about which shot is right for you.

The CDC says each year, the timing, severity, and length of flu season changes, so prepare for the worst.

"The interesting thing about the flu is it can be variable from year to year as far as what the prominent symptoms can be and a lot of times we don't really know until flu season actually hits," said Ronald K Reynolds, MD, Beach Urgent Care.

It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take full effect so doctors say the earlier you get the shot, the better.

For more information on the 2014-2015 Flu Season from the CDC:

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