Flu comes early to Wisconsin

Flu season arrived early this year in Wisconsin, leading health officials in Wisconsin to recommend that residents take precautions to prevent the disease from spreading.

Michael Landrum, an infectious disease specialist at Bellin Health, said that this year's flu season began early and that peak flu activity can change from year to year, Gannett Wisconsin Media reports.

"I don't know if you can make ties between the onset of flu season and the severity (of the virus)," Landrum said, according to Gannett Wisconsin Media. "We'll have to see how this progresses, maybe it means the flu will go away this year a little early, but it's impossible to predict."

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has confirmed 113 influenza cases so far this season, up from seven cases at tis time in 2011.

Health officials recommend that residents get the flu vaccine to prevent the illness or shorten its length.

"The vaccine is safe, and seems to be good match (for this year's strain of the virus)," Thomas Haupt, the influenza surveillance coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said, according to Gannett Wisconsin Media. "There's plenty on hand, you should get it as soon as possible. Get it for yourself, and the people around you."

People can also prevent themselves from getting the flu by following good health practices such as eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising and maintaining good hygiene.