According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu in the United States is increasing. A doctor with MedExpress says get your flu shot.

“It is recommended,” said Dr. Christopher Dietz. “If you’re contemplating getting the flu vaccine, go ahead and get it. It takes about two weeks for it to become effective. It’s not too late. We can see flu as late as May.”

Until the shot kicks in, use good hygiene practices.

“Do very frequent handwashing,” said Dr. Dietz. “Hand hygiene is very crucial when you’re dealing with trying to keep yourself well. If you’re coughing or sneezing, always try and cough and sneeze into your elbow or your tissue and wash your hands thoroughly after you’ve thrown that tissue away. Avoid touching your eyes and your nose and your mouth. This is how we get the majority of our viral infections.”

If you think you have the flu already, see a doctor.

“There’s a flu swab that we can do, to check to see if you have influenza A or influenza B. If you do have influenza, we can get you started on some medications that kind of help mitigate your symptoms and hopefully help clear the virus a bit more quickly.”

The virus is widespread in 10 states, including Kansas, and is spreading regionally to an additional 14 states and territories.