Raven SantanaJan 9, 2018, 2:30 pmJan 10, 2018, 8:05 am

Medical experts say flu cases not likely to decrease, as season for virus began early

People advised to take precautions to prevent spread of the disease

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SOMERVILLE — The cold weather is coming with a big flu outbreak that some may have already felt, and doctors say things could get worse before they get better. That’s because the flu outbreak started earlier this year, according to Dr. Christopher Crean of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

“We've more than anything seen a little bit earlier than normal. We typically kind of see it late January, early February. This year we started seeing cases all the way in November, December,” Dr. Crean says.

For those who may be unsure if they have a really bad cold or the flu, Dr. Crean says those who contract the flu will feel their body ache all over and will have a slight higher fever. Dr. Crean says the best way to prevent against the flu is simple: Keeping one’s hands clean.

“…Coughing into your shoulder, kind of trying not to be that close, direct contact with other people. You don't have to close the door and not be anywhere near them, but just taking some basic precautions like that. Simple things like hand washing can greatly reduce your risk of contracting it from people that you live with.,” Dr. Crean says.

Dr. Crean adds that is never too late to receive a flu shot, but if one has not yet been vaccinated, the likelihood of getting benefits from the inoculation has decreased as it takes weeks to build up immunity.

Dr. Crean also advises for anyone who may have contracted the flu to stay home, in that going to a hospital or work will only increase the risk of others catching it.

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