The CDC has stated that right now the whole state of Illinois is a "hot zone for the flu".

Eww... Nasty.

According to a report from WTVO, during the last week of December over 350 cases of the Flu were reported in Winnebago County. 

Just this morning ABC7 Chicago discovered that there's been a spike in flu cases for Cook county as well.

Doctors are saying that "this year's strain, H3N2--which has been prominent this year ,
tends to have more severe symptoms than usual, including a fever, cough, sore throat and a runny or stuffy nose." 

Doctors have also noted that this year's flu has one symptom in particular that is more prevalent it "involves flu patients having respiratory symptoms."

Along with the “high fever, shaking chills, issues with breathing or shortness of breath or chest discomfort associated with those symptoms. The likelihood of it progressing in to more severe infection such as pneumonia is much higher"

Yikes! That sounds just awful.

So what can we do to prevent this from happening to us?

Doctors say to get the flu shot. Although the " flu vaccine doesn't fight the H3N2 strain, doctors still encourage people to get the shot." They say that by getting vaccinated "it is possible that it will actually decrease the symptoms that you do get, even if you come in contact with a strain that is not covered by the vaccine itself."

next in prevention is to wash your hands and cover your cough or sneeze.

And then the obvious is "if you're sick, stay home from work. If kids are sick, keep them home from school. Those are places where it can spread, so you want to minimize that."

To read more on what to do to prevent from getting the flu or what to do if you do get it, click here.