Flu forecast: a look at this year’s flu season

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Chilly weather is a signal that fall is among us, and with it comes the start of flu season.

With that, Action 2 News is reminding viewers the importance of the flu shot.

“We're predicting or hoping it won't be as bad as last year,” says Dr. Ryan Murphy, BayCare Clinic.

Coming off last year’s intense strand of the flu, doctors are working to keep cases low this season.

While the CDC has not released any information about this year’s strand of the flu, experts at BayCare Clinic say it’s time to get your flu shot.

“The flu shot has inactivated virus in there, and your body recognizes that virus, and then builds antibodies against it,” Dr. Murphy explains.

That means your body is more equipped to protect itself from the flu, if you’ve already gotten the flu shot.

Because Influenza is an actual virus, the treatment plan isn’t ideal.

“Antibiotics are not effective against the flu. The treatment would be staying home from work or school,” Dr. Murphy explains.

Doctors say the flu shot reduces your chance of contracting the flu anywhere from 40 to 60 percent.

Dr. Murphy explains that last year’s flu shot only worked at about 40 percent efficiency. “The strain had mutated enough that the flu shot did not offer the protection,” he says.

That’s why, he says, it’s doubly important to get the flu shot this year.

Some places require employees to receive the flu shot, but workers like Jeff Mayerl say it’s the best way to keep himself, and others, healthy.

“I've got two small children at home. One that's been in the PICU a couple of times, so I completely understand the need for protecting certain environments of patients,” Mayerl tells Action 2 News.

If you haven’t gotten the shot, and start experiencing symptoms of head or body aches, fevers or congestion, it may be time to contact your doctor.

Medical experts say the peak time of flu season will likely be in January or February. Still, they recommend everyone, after the age of six months, get the flu shot in the near future.