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Flu season at its worst since 2013-2014

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

Flu season is well on its way to peaking early.

According to the CDC, there have been more than 41,000 cases nationwide this flue season, three times higher than last season. According to the Amarillo Public Health Department, there have been 3,303 cases in Randall and Potter counties alone.

The peak of flu season is typically in February. 

The strain of influenza that is spreading the most is called H3N2. It is one of the four strains in the flu vaccine, but it's mutating, making it hard to vaccinate against. 

"The H3N2 strain that's circulating is a little bit harder of a virus too, it's robust," said Casie Stoughton, Director of City of Amarillo Public Health. "The vaccine has a harder time covering that one particular strain."

Even though the strain is harder to cover, physicians are still recommending that you get it. They say it can protect you from the other strains, and it can help you if do end up getting sick. 

"One of the great things about the vaccine is even if you get the flu and you've been vaccinated, it could really reduce your symptoms," said Stoughton. "So even if you get the flu, it will be a much more mild case of the flu than what you would have gotten." 

She also recommended tried and true techniques to stay healthy.

"Good hand washing. Don't go to work sick. You'd hate to spread those germs to your friends and family."

Still, medical professionals say that the best defense is the vaccine itself.

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