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By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seasonal influenza activity is increasing in the U.S.

The flu season officially started last month, and already, more than a dozen states, including Maryland, are reporting flu activity.

While the flu season can be unpredictable, a flu vaccination is your best form of defense.

“It’s especially important for the very young, and very old, and those with medical conditions as well,” said Dr. Geoffrey Mountvarner, with Sinai Hospital.

The CDC is not recommending the use of the nasal spray flu vaccine this season. The injectable vaccine is considered the most effective this season.

Another way to prevent the flu is to reduce your exposure to the virus.

“It’s very important to wash your hands because flu is primarily spread two ways, by someone coughing respiratory droplets and then touching something someone with the flu touched,” Dr. Mountvarner said.

The most common flu symptoms include: body aches, a runny nose, fever and sore throat. While sick, doctors advise limited contact with others to stop the spread of the highly contagious illness.

“Rest, Vitamin C, fluids, and so forth, and stay home as well,” Dr. Mountvarner said.

The peak flu season is typically around January and February.

Click here for information on where you can get vaccinated in your area.

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