Rochester, N.Y. - Flu season hit harder and earlier than usual across the country, and in Monroe County.
The county health department said there have been 8 flu-related death and 1,348 flu cases so far this season.
Flu usually doesn't blanket the country until late January or February. Now, it's already widespread in more than 40 states. That could change when the next government report comes out Friday.
Doctors said that even people who got a flu vaccine are getting sick. They said though the shot is the best defense we have, it is only about 50-70 percent effective.
Dr. David Stornelli said he wears a mask and uses hand sanitizer, plus he got the flu shot. Still, he got what he calls "a touch of the flu" last month.
He said his office is seeing two dozen patients a day with flu symptoms, many of whom had the vaccine. Some have had to be hospitalized.
Dr. Stornelli called this a bad year.
If you get sick and think it's the flu, Dr. Stornelli advises patients to first check in with their doctor and let him/her know.
Stornelli said you don't need to go to the Emergency Room unless you have health complications, high fever or trouble breathing.
That will not only prevent overcrowding in the ER, but also prevent further spread of the flu virus.
The best advice, keep washing your hands frequently and wiping down surfaces you touch, like keyboards and phones.
For more information about the flu in Monroe County, click here.