The season's first confirm flu case has appeared in North Carolina.
State Health Director Dr. Leah Devlin says while it's hard to predict what the flu season is going to be like, she says this first case is a wake up call for people to get their flu shots.
The illness was diagnosed in a 43 year old Buncombe County woman.
The state health department says, unlike previous years, there is plenty of flu vaccine available across North Carolina.
Nationwide, the flu accounts for 36,000 deaths each year and puts another 200,000 people in the hospital.
You can take steps to stop the spread of the flu and other respiratory diseases:
" Cover your coughs and sneezes.
" Use tissues and throw them away after each use.
" Wash hands often.
" If you have flu symptoms, stay home.