It's just the start of the flu season, but the virus has already spread widely across MA, according to state epidemiologists who track and report the flu to the Centers for Disease Control.
Detection of the flu in those with respiratory viruses was at 10 per cent, most commonly with the A-strain (H3N2) - the common flu - which can affect adults 20 years and older, and especially the elderly and kids.
"What we do know is that the more people who get the vaccine, the fewer people get sick, the milder the flu season is for everyone", said Dr. John Marshall of Maimonides Medical Center.
Experts are expecting the flu to come on strong this winter, based on what they've seen in the southern hemisphere earlier this year, according to a memo in the New England Journal of Medicine.
SNOW AND ICE warning upgraded by Met Éireann
Forecasters warned that "significant falls of snow are likely to cause accumulations of 3 cm or greater above mean sea level". There may be a light dusting of snow around the country, and it may stick in places in the north and northwest.
People with diabetes or cardiovascular diseases have a higher risk of developing serious complications when they contract the flu, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said.
Skiest said it's also too soon to tell if the vaccine is a good match to the spreading virus, but he recommends the shot for most people.
"Human immune defenses become weaker with age, which places older people at greater risk of severe illness", explained Dr. Levine. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to build up and protect against the flu. "Even if it's not a flawless match, it's very important, not just for yourself, but also to protect those with whom you may come in contact - including babies too young to get vaccinated and people who have weakened immune systems". To find a location near you to get the flu vaccine, go to healthvermont.gov/flu or dial 2-1-1.